I had read Where Did You Go, Bernadette in a book group, and I’m glad I did. It wasn’t a novel I would have picked up on my own, but it was a fun read. An example of what happens when you step a little outside your comfort zone, trust someone else’s taste, and are pleasantly surprised.
When Today Will Be Different popped up as a kindle deal I snatched it up. I had positive memories of Bernadette and I thought another offbeat novel was what I needed.
As I was reading this book I remembered the issues I had with Bernadette. There’s a lot going on in Semple’s novels. Almost a manic amount of activity. And I didn’t really care about the characters. And every time I put down the novel everything about it fled my mind. Every time I picked it up I had to try to remember what had already happened. I almost gave up.
And then, as with Bernadette, about 3/4 of the way through I couldn’t put the book down. By the end I was left with the feeling that I really liked the book, despite the fact that a few days earlier when someone asked me what I was reading, I couldn’t remember (very unlike me).
This book was completely different than Bernadette, and yet exactly the same. There’s no plot overlap and I don’t think any of the characters are similar, and yet the energy and the feel of the book is exactly the same. A week out from finishing the book I’m left with the feeling that I really enjoyed it, but I couldn’t give you a coherent synopsis of the plot.
I would recommend this book to a real reader. Someone who can stick with a book even when the whole enterprise is looking a little shaky. There is a reward in the final quarter of the book, by which I mean all of the manic energy comes together and the plot makes sense. A little like those 3D images you look at for a while and all of a sudden a 3D image pops off the 2D paper.
Yesterday I went for a little walk. With some cherry blossoms!
I’ve generally found Hilderbrand’s books to be relaxing. Light family dramas set on Nantucket.
Recently a couple of her books have been disappointing, which made me sad. She seems to be releasing books faster and faster and it seemed to be impacting the quality of the writing.
I picked up Here’s to Us when it was on sale as a Kindle book. In the midst of a crunch time recently at work I gave it a try, and I’m glad that I did. From the plot outline, there’s no reason to think that it will be good. A famous guy dies and his most recent wife, two ex-wives, and his kids have to gather at his Nantucket home to spread his ashes and hear about his horrible financial situation. All of them have drama in their personal lives to bring more excitement to the book.
The book was surprisingly good, though it made me want to hop on a plane to Nantucket!
The characters were interesting and despite the extreme vocations (famous celebrity chef, famous actress, famous writer) their actions were believable. For the first time in awhile I was eager to pick the book back up to read more. You can’t ask for much more from a book.