Sunday 4 December 2016

Today Will Be Different

Finished December 3
Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

This novel follows Eleanor Flood through a single day of her life. She knows she's been distracted and not living up to what her husband Joe, her son Timby, and herself expect from her. The book starts with an affirmation and intention
Today will be different. Today I will be present. Today, anyone I speak to, I will look them in the eye and listen deeply. Today I'll play a board game with Timby. I'll initiate sex with Joe. Today I will take pride in my appearance. I'll shower, get dressed in proper clothes, and change into yoga clothes only for yoga, which today I will actually attend. Today I won't swear. I won't talk about money. Today there will be an ease about me. My face will be relaxed, its resting place a smile. Today I will radiate calm. Kindness and self-control will abound. Today I will buy local. Today I will be my best self, the person I'm capable of being. Today will be different.
that she fully intends to live by. She does shower and get dressed in a nice dress, but from the beginning she notices some things aren't right, and when more things throw her plans off-balance she reacts emotionally. From her son needing to be taken out of school because he's sick, causing her to leave her poetry lesson midway through to a lunch bringing up old painful memories, we see Eleanor and her feelings.
She lives a good life. She works as an animator, although not to the extent she did a decade ago. Her husband is a renowned hand surgeon. Her son is intelligent and confident. She is well enough off to buy what she wants. As we gradually understand what her true sorrow is based on, we realize both the importance and the limitations of families.
The middle section of the book takes us back into the past to see how Eleanor came to be where she is now, and that section is poignant with unresolved emotions.
This is a story to make you laugh, make you cry, and make you care. I loved how poetry was used. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

1 comment:

  1. I'm intrigued by your mention of how poetry is used in the novel; I've yet to try Maria Semple (beyond the first page), but I know, I know, she's supposed to be amazing!