Culture Street

Books

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

On October 14, 2016

By Sophia Whitfield
From the author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette comes another comic novel about a dysfunctional mother trying to navigate her daily routine.

Eleanor flood is married to surgeon Joe and together they have one child, Timby. Today she is determined to be a better version of herself. She will take a yoga class after dropping Timby off at school but will remind herself only to wear yoga clothes for yoga. She will initiate sex with her husband Joe and play a board game with Timby.

Unsurprisingly things fall apart very quickly. Timby decides to fake sick again at school and with Timby in hand Eleanor decides to visit her husband at work. On arrival she discovers that Joe has taken a holiday that he has mentioned to work but not to her.

The entire novel is set in a day with flashbacks to the past. The most poignant is The Flood Girls; a graphic novel Eleanor had written which featured her and her sister Ivy along with their mother. As Semple delves into Eleanor’s past more is revealed about her fractured family and the separation from her sister Ivy and her husband Bucky, whom Timby has never met.

Eleanor’s family background is revealed through The Flood Girls and her need for stability sits at the core of this novel as she searches for her lost husband. Throughout the day it is Timby who takes charge and attempts to settle his mother.

Today Will Be Different is a novel full of humour with a wonderfully dysfunctional mother at its heart. Every character is richly drawn, from the long-lost sister to the runaway husband. You can buy the book here in Australia and here in the UK.

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