TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT BY MARIA SEMPLE
PUBLISHED BY LITTLE, BROWN & COMPANY
REVIEW BY PENNY NOM
Eleanor Flood is an illustrator; student of poetry; Mother; Wife, and a bit of a mess. She wakes up one morning and decides to lead a ‘better’ life, to listen deeply to the people she meets, to radiate calmness, to play with her child, and to attend a yoga class.
She’s had enough of just getting the day over with and leaving the world no better than the moment she started it. How hard can it be, she thinks. Similar, I’m sure, to what we all do when we make similar pledges to our busy, ‘me time’ deprived selves.
However, the road to good intentions is paved with hellish moments, as the saying doesn’t go. Eleanor crashes and stomps through a day that sees her pick up her eight year old son from the school sick bay; skip out on her poetry teacher before paying for breakfast or his time; knock herself out on an art installation by a famous artist; and chase her husband, who she is convinced is having an affair, across town with the aforementioned son and poet in tow.
Along the way Eleanor gains some insight into the more serious issues in her life that are holding her back. Losing her mother at a young age had its toll, leaving her to fend for herself thanks to her alcoholic father. Not to mention she’s estranged from her sister, Ivy.
This book is fun to read. I enjoyed the characters, including the unpleasant ones. The relationships are ‘real’ and relatable, making for an entertaining and hilarious romp. I loved Eleanor’s less than Stepford Wife attitude to parenting and marriage, and I adored her chubby, precocious, make-up wearing son, Timby. Eleanor and Timby make a great double-act, and there are both cruelly funny and touching mother-son moments throughout.
This novel has the feel of an indie film, and in fact it has rumours of a film adaptation underway. I recommend the book, and will definitely be seeing the film when it hits the silver screen.
Find this novel in store at Planet Books. Ask the friendly staff for guidance too, and they’ll be more than happy to order you in a copy if it’s already sold out.