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Publisher's Summary

A brilliant novel from the author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette, about a day in the life of Eleanor Flood, forced to abandon her small ambitions and awake to a strange, new future.

Eleanor knows she's a mess. But today she will tackle the little things. She will shower and get dressed. She will have her poetry and yoga lessons after dropping off her son, Timby. She won't swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe.

But before she can put her modest plan into action - life happens. Today, it turns out, is the day Timby has decided to fake sick to weasel his way into his mother's company. It's also the day Joe has chosen to tell his office - but not Eleanor - that he's on vacation. Just when it seems like things can't go more awry, an encounter with a former colleague produces a graphic memoir whose dramatic tale threatens to reveal a buried family secret.

Today Will Be Different is a hilarious, heart-filled story about reinvention, sisterhood, and how sometimes it takes facing up to our former selves to truly begin living.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2016 Maria Semple (P)2016 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    293
  • 4 Stars
    333
  • 3 Stars
    307
  • 2 Stars
    128
  • 1 Stars
    68

Performance

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    490
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    267
  • 3 Stars
    162
  • 2 Stars
    73
  • 1 Stars
    54

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    239
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    289
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    280
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    148
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    88
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Weird, but fascinating.

This was a fun story to listen to, even if I have no idea what the point really was.

The narrator made some choices for the characters that I think would have sounded much differently in my head if I were reading the book. Sometimes I think she made characters sound more shallow and crazy than the words sounded to me. There were also at least 3 three blatant mispronunciations of words. (Not faulting the narrator, but I always wonder how those sneak past editors and such.)

Having said that, I did laugh out loud at some of it, especially her super-annoying portrayal of Timby. I swear that's how my kids sound on my worst days. And the things he said - so spot on for a typical kid in 2010s that I thought he might be my kids' classmate.

All in all, interesting, entertaining, and weird.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story but narration was hit and miss

I love Maria Semple's previous books, and loved this one too.

But this narrator! How do I describe her? At times she was brilliant, but at other times her performance really detracted from the story. The narrator's son Timby may have been a normal kid if I read the paper version, but instead his voice was a mix of whine and high-pitched nasally French horn. Kids don't sound like that! The poet in the story had a hokey southern accent despite the fact that the story was set in Seattle. A posh modern artist sounded like a 1940's Brooklyn gangster. And worst of all, a disabled man in a wheelchair was made to sound like he had an intellectual, rather than physical, disability.

The narrator was often spectacular and I'm sure she is talented. Maybe the producer convinced her to use these exaggerated and frankly strange voices? In any case, I wish she hadn't.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

So disappointing - Bernadette fans will be sad

Any additional comments?

This is a ridiculous book, I adored Where'd you go Bernadette and this book does not compare. I found this boring and miserable to follow. Eleanor, the protagonist, is impossible to connect with. The writing is no where near the caliber of Where'd you go Bernadette. Also, this book is peppered with not so subtle propaganda. If I were you, I would save my credit to avoid a colossal let down!

29 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Heard a clip. Was what I expected with lots of twists and turns.

I, myself am an older mom struggling with identity, insecurity, a wobbly career (due to choosing children over the climb to the top) and trying to put all of the pieces in place. I had many parallels that made me feel 'not-so-bad' about my place in life and give a bit of inspiration to get up, shower and make today a better day. I found this story to be a nice, relatable story in which I got reprieve from my own issues.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

This will make you feel like you're going crazy!

Would you try another book from Maria Semple and/or Kathleen Wilhoite?

I loved Where'd you go Bernadette, and I feel that this has great potential, but it wanders around and then overall wraps up quite sharply. There are so many asides here that its hard to find the main thread of the plot. I preferred some of the asides, and overall think that Eleanor is someone I would dislike in real life. Her mental wanderings drove me crazy!

What about Kathleen Wilhoite’s performance did you like?

She keeps the voices of the main characters distinct, which I think would be tricky, and she keep the story moving along quickly.

Could you see Today Will Be Different being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No way.

Any additional comments?

The first minute of the audiobook says that it contains a mac and PC compatible pdf file of drawings. Audible does not give you that file, and technical support did not believe me. I was very annoyed by this.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Like the other book. Liked the book. Hated the ending.

Like she got bored and just wanted to wrap it up. Quit before the last 30 and make your own ending.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not worth the credit.

What disappointed you about Today Will Be Different?

The story was all over the place. I didnt get bast the 2nd chapter.

Would you ever listen to anything by Maria Semple again?

Maybe

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Too scatterbrained of a character. I get what the author was trying to do but the story was not interesting at all.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not "Where'd You Go Bernadette?"

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It was somewhat entertaining, but too close a shadow of "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?", without a great plot. I truly loved Bernadette. I hosted our book club with Bernadette, and it was one of our happiest meetings ever.

Would you be willing to try another book from Maria Semple? Why or why not?

Yes. She has wonderful, biting wit in general and such a way with children's dialogue and a personal way of interpreting the thoughts and actions of mothers who have or had serious professions -- along the ilk of Liane Moriarty, but in Seattle and with more laughter. Still, this particular book needed a fresher theme.

What about Kathleen Wilhoite’s performance did you like?

Oh, she's perfect for these books. 5 star all the way.

Did Today Will Be Different inspire you to do anything?

No, not at all. I just want her "child" to grow up a bit & have the heroine move on a little bit...new turf. What if they had to head up the new tech/art/legal business in the Asian region, etc. and move to an international school....Maria Semple's observations of people are priceless.

Any additional comments?

Encourage Maria to move up to the problems of a high school? Move across country? Dye her character's hair? Who knows? But, don't change her sometimes biting comments on her fellow citizens - those are priceless.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite

I simply didn't like Eleanor as a person. And while I really like other work the reading has done, I didn't believe her as the character. I didn't connect with the characters so I didn't enjoy it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

scadered

started off great. first 3 chapters...
suddenly it's off about another story. kept thinking would return to original story, never did.
could not even finish the book. didn't want to waste anymore time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful