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.