Today Will Be Different – by Maria Semple

In three words: poetic, cringey, punchy

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If you like the awkward humor of Larry David and the absurd pysches in Girls, this book should be right up your ally. The author, Maria Semple injects a humor that’s reminiscent of those two shows. (Semple is a screenwriter herself, having written for Arrested Development, SNL, and Ellen.)

Today Will Be Different follows a day in the life of Eleanor Flood, our off-kilter protagonist. If you’re the type of person who liked Hannah from Girls, you’ll quickly be charmed by the main character’s antics. She’s moderately manic and slightly unhinged, but kept me on her side with her sharp wit, harsh humor, and poetic observations.

Eleanor sees the world as a place that “will be hostile… it will inject you with doubt, it will flatter you into self-sabotage.” Each day is a struggle, but she’s trying to change that. She wants to get away from “waking up just to get the day over with until. She knows that this attitude is “a disgrace, an affront to the honor and long shot of being alive at all.” And so we join Eleanor on the day that she tries to turn it all around. And on this day, we learn all about her — her pained family past, tumultuous childhood, and less than perfect marriage. It’s a fun ride, like hanging out with a crazy aunt for a day. But at the end of the day, there’s a sigh of relief when you part ways. And the same is true for the loopy character of Eleanor Flood.

 

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