Today Will Be Different
Maria Semple cut her teeth writing scripts for superior US comedies such as Arrested Development, and also scored a big hit with her epistolary second novel, Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Her latest concerns Eleanor Flood, an illustrator from New York who, 10 years back, won much acclaim for a TV cartoon, but who now spends her time procrastinating over a graphic novel of her life she has been commissioned to write. She now lives in Seattle with her successful hand-surgeon husband and young son. The story is a day in her life in which she attempts to break free from a malaise she has sunk in to (“Today will be different. Today I will be present. Today, anyone I speak to, I will look them in the eye and listen deeply”). Needless to say, her day doesn’t go quite to plan. Flood’s world is recognisably that of Bernadette’s - with its cast of awful friends and school busy-bodies - and although this doesn’t quite hang together as neatly as her previous novel, Semple still finds enough humour and deft twists during this tumultuous day to keep us highly entertained throughout.