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Today Will Be Different
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Archive: Other Books > Today will be different - three stars?

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message 1: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy | 8510 comments Writing this review is unusually difficult. I really wish I wasn't the first one to review it. I find myself flustered and frazzled in trying to figure out my impressions, what I want to say about it, and how it affected me. For fans of Maria Semple's Where'd You Go Bernadette, you are expecting one thing, and this is quite another. I literally have no idea what to think and how to describe and review it - which is highly unusual for me.

To start, in the first 20%, its hard to know what is going on. The main character is confused, disorganized, and seems mentally ill. Her consciousness is somewhat fluid, and it reads a bit like an anxious somewhat manic therapy session. There is little to hook and hold onto. The few characters who are introduced have no grounding, as it is filtered through her fluid mind. Soon after though, there is a "hook", one gets a sense of the plot mystery, involving two characters, and one newly introduced. We learn a bit of her history through the sudden emergence of a quick graphic novel - and now we have a plot hint. I normally don't care in the least for graphic novels, but I was drawn to hers. Now there is both a history/mystery and current mystery plot to understand. She behaves crazily, and none of it makes remote sense, until more becomes revealed. She continues to spin downward, strangely involving others in her strange day, until the mystery is ultimately revealed - and its strange, when the outcome is unfolded. Ultimately, I guess what I would say is that the mani character, Eleanor, makes her understanding and her safety through relationships - and through the book you come to understand why these are so critical, important, and vulnerable to her. I think a theme in the book could absolutely be - "what one clings to" and how to make sense of relationships, as they are both everlasting and shift over time. She is an uncomfortable character. And hard to love, as she's hard to know - but I found she affected me. I worried for her, and wanted to see her find sanity and security to cling to. The ending? Strange. Does she find it? In a sense, not quite sure. What I can say, is that the title suggests that every day, we maybe promise ourselves that "today will be different." We will be better, wear a dress, play a game with our child, be more loving, get out of bed, etc. Eleanor is a woman who tries. And tries and tries. She is passionate and crazy, artistic, feeling, she loves deeply, is committed deeply, and has no true sense of who she is. Where she came from and where she is going is tenuous, but in the meantime there are these people, experiences, who move her.

Getting a chance to articulate how I feel about this book, is actually making me think I liked it more than I expected to, and more than I probably described. I think it's fluidity and initial to total confusion is harder for me. I tend to like writing where I have more grounding in the narrator. That said, Eleanor moved me - and I got engaged in it. Its quirky, and funny, and sad, and disorienting, and a hell of a ride. A quick read. I look forward to seeing what others thought of it.

message 2: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (tstan) | 1193 comments I thought Bernadette was good, but nothing special. So I didn't really have a lot of interest in this one. But this sounds intriguing. It may be quite a while before I can get to it, though!

message 3: by Joi (new) - rated it 3 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3808 comments I really enjoyed Bernadette. Interesting to see this took a bit of a different path.

message 4: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 8315 comments Hi, Amy. I wonder if you might be willing to add the author either to the title of your post or at the top of your review when you post?

For purposes of "shelving", some books have the same title, so it makes things much easier to know which book to add to the PBT bookshelf if I also know the author.

For this particular one, because it's not for the monthly tag, it's not as big a deal, but it's really helpful for me in the monthly tag posts. Thanks so much!

message 5: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy | 8510 comments Sure Cindy - Forgive that I have been internet challenged. But I am slowly improving and figuring things out. Maria Semple is this author.

message 6: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 8315 comments Thanks so much, Amy! I appreciate it. It will make things easier. I would have send you a private message, but I thought it would be a reminder for everyone else, as well.

message 7: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5793 comments Amy wrote: "Sure Cindy - Forgive that I have been internet challenged. But I am slowly improving and figuring things out. Maria Semple is this author."

Amy .. you can "EDIT" the topic (I think) .... you can also EDIT your original post to add the link and author name.

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