Wednesday, November 30, 2016

(96)Today Will be Different by Maria Semple


Eleanor Flood wakes up in the morning and vows that today will be different.  She vows to do things like initiate sex with her husband, Joe. She will go to yoga, she will have her poetry lesson.  Today will be different.  Until third-grade son, Timby (so named because of a Siri mishap)  is "sick" and the plans for her day are left by the wayside.  Eleanor decides that Joe can handle Timby and his fake illnesses for once, but when she goes by his office she is told that he is on vacation.  Eleanor goes into panic mode.  Joe is her rock.  He puts up with all of her quirks and issues and she knows she doesn't show her appreciation as much as she should.  But why would Joe take a vacation day and not tell her?  With Timby tagging along, Eleanor sets off to find her husband and why he didn't tell her that he was taking some time off.   What will happen when Eleanor finds out the truth?

When I think of Eleanor Flood I alternate between thinking that she is the funniest thing around or she is one hot mess.   Often times she is both.  Eleanor was an older mother who left a very successful career as an animator and is currently working on a book.  But she struggles with holding it all together. She loves her son and husband, but most days she struggles to even function.  It is like she has been in a haze ever since Timby was born.  I couldn't help but to love her.  Her observations were honest and at times quite hysterical.  And I am sure that many would find fault with these sentiments. 

"She's like Parkinson's, you can't cure her, you can just manage the symptoms."

"As everybody knows, being raised Catholic with half a brain means becoming an atheist." 
But this one was so astute that it almost took my breath away.  In a world where social media only fuels that fire to keep up with the Jones' I thought that this quote was so on target.

"This was happiness.  Not the framed greatest hits, but the moments between."

Bottom line - I really liked Today Will Be Different.  I know a lot of people thought that it was too similar to Semple's first book, Where Did You Go Bernadette? but I really love the quirky characters that live in Maria Semple's head.

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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