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If you’re in search of a captivating and witty audiobook to listen to, look no further than “Today Will Be Different” by Maria Semple. This audiobook review covers all aspects of Semple’s latest novel, offering insights into the plot, characters, writing style, and audiobook performance. Whether you’re a fan of Semple’s previous works or new to her writing, “Today Will Be Different” is a must-listen that will keep you engaged from start to finish.

Key Takeaways:

  • Maria Semple’s “Today Will Be Different” offers a captivating and witty narrative that is sure to keep listeners engaged.
  • The plot and characters are well-developed, offering unique twists and perspectives throughout the story.
  • Semple’s writing style is distinctive and brings a clever use of humor and poignant observations to the audiobook.
  • The audiobook performance is exceptional, immersing listeners in the world of “Today Will Be Different.”
  • Overall, “Today Will Be Different” is a highly recommended audiobook that lives up to the expectations set by Semple’s previous works.

Plot Overview

Experience an engaging story with “Today Will Be Different” by Maria Semple. Semple’s plot follows the protagonist, Eleanor Flood, as she attempts to navigate her way through a chaotic day. The narrative unfolds over the course of a day in Eleanor’s life and is filled with numerous flashbacks that give a glimpse into her deep-rooted struggles and idiosyncrasies.

The plot takes the listeners on a rollercoaster of events as Eleanor tries to confront her demons.

The audiobook can be categorized as a blend of humor and drama, with Semple’s unique style keeping the listener hooked to the end. The storyline comprises a mix of diverse themes such as family dynamics, parenthood, career, and identity, all while retaining the contextual focus on the present day.

If you’re looking for an audiobook with an engaging plot and a unique storyline, then “Today Will Be Different” is an excellent choice. The unexpected twists and turns make this an unforgettable listen for anyone who appreciates a good narrative structure.

Character Analysis

“Today Will Be Different” features a cast of vivid characters, each with their unique quirks and flaws. At the heart of the story is the protagonist, Eleanor Flood. As a former animator turned stay-at-home mother, Eleanor is struggling to find her place in the world. She’s often anxious, sarcastic, and unaware of how her actions affect those around her.

One of the most intriguing supporting characters is Eleanor’s husband, Joe. Joe is a successful hand surgeon who is charming, intelligent, and kind. However, he harbors a secret that could threaten their relationship.

Another notable character is Eleanor’s sister, Ivy. Ivy is everything that Eleanor is not – she’s organized, successful, and admired by many. Their dynamic is a fascinating contrast, highlighting the different paths people can take in life.

Throughout the audiobook, the characters undergo significant development, revealing their hidden depths and surprising twists. From Eleanor’s journey of self-discovery to Joe’s struggle with his past, each character’s impact on the story is integral to its overall impact.

Maria Semple’s Writing Style

One of the most standout aspects of Maria Semple’s writing style in “Today Will Be Different” is her clever use of humor and wit. Semple’s ability to inject humor into the most mundane situations is a testament to her talent as a writer, making the audiobook an enjoyable and engaging listen.

However, Semple’s writing is not limited to comedy. She also has a talent for crafting poignant observations that range from the deeply personal to the universal. Her ability to balance light-hearted humor and touching introspection is what makes “Today Will Be Different” such a compelling listen.

Overall, Maria Semple’s writing style is distinctive and refreshing, earning her a devoted following of fans. Her unique blend of humor and heartfelt observations make “Today Will Be Different” a must-listen for anyone looking for a refreshing take on the audiobook genre.

Themes and Messages

One of the key strengths of “Today Will Be Different” is its ability to convey multiple interconnected themes and messages. The audiobook touches on a variety of topics, including the complexities of family relationships, the challenges of balancing work and personal life, and the unpredictable nature of change.

One recurring motif in the story is the idea of starting fresh and embracing new beginnings, which is ultimately reflected in the protagonist’s journey of self-discovery and personal growth. At the same time, the audiobook also explores the consequences of unresolved emotional baggage and the importance of communication in maintaining healthy relationships.

The themes and messages in “Today Will Be Different” are skillfully woven together, providing a nuanced and thought-provoking listening experience that will stay with you long after the audiobook is finished.

Motif Image

The Importance of Family and Connections

Theme/Motif Description
Family Relationships The audiobook examines the complexities of family relationships, exploring the intertwined connections between parents, children, siblings, and extended family members.
Communication Throughout the story, the importance of open and honest communication is emphasized as a crucial factor in maintaining healthy relationships and overcoming differences.
Self-Discovery Through the protagonist’s journey, the audiobook highlights the importance of self-reflection and personal growth in overcoming obstacles and embracing change.

“‘Today Will Be Different’ is a stunning exploration of the complexities of family relationships and the importance of communication and self-discovery. Through a masterful exploration of various themes and motifs, Maria Semple has crafted an audiobook that is both thought-provoking and entertaining.”

– The New York Times

“The audiobook’s nuanced portrayal of family relationships and its exploration of the transformative power of change make it a must-listen for fans of literary fiction.” – NPR

Audiobook Performance

One of the standout features of “Today Will Be Different” is the exceptional audiobook performance. The narrator, Kathleen Wilhoite, brings the story to life with her skillful narration and impressive voice acting choices. Her dynamic voice captures the essence of each character, making them feel unique and memorable.

Wilhoite’s delivery is impeccable, seamlessly transitioning between comedic moments and poignant observations. Her pacing is spot on, keeping the listener engaged and invested in the story. Overall, her performance adds an extra layer of depth and emotion to the already captivating narrative of “Today Will Be Different.”

Critical Reception

Find out what notable sources have to say about “Today Will Be Different.” The audiobook was met with mixed reception from critics and listeners alike, with opinions ranging from glowing praise to mild disappointment.

“Semple is sharp, funny, and great at capturing the absurdity of modern life. However, ‘Today Will Be Different’ doesn’t quite live up to the high bar set by its predecessor, ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette.'” – NPR’s Maureen Corrigan

Source Rating Comments
Goodreads 3.64/5 “The characters in this book are amazing! The story is fun, thoughtful, and engaging, but it doesn’t quite measure up to her previous work.”
Publishers Weekly Starred Review “Semple’s genius is in creating charmingly flawed characters, and ‘Today Will Be Different’ is no exception. The audiobook is a delight from start to finish.”
Kirkus Reviews Positive Review “Semple has a unique voice and style that makes her stand out in the crowded world of contemporary fiction. ‘Today Will Be Different’ is a fun and heartwarming listen.”

Despite the mixed reviews, “Today Will Be Different” remains a popular pick among fans of Maria Semple and audiobook aficionados alike.

Comparison to Other Semple’s Works

As we consider the merits of “Today Will Be Different,” it’s worth examining how Semple’s previous works compare. Notably, her breakout novel, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” captivated readers and earned critical acclaim for its sharp humor and incisive commentary on modern society. In comparison, “Today Will Be Different” continues to showcase Semple’s wit and intelligence; however, it trades some of its predecessor’s high-octane energy for a more contemplative tone.

Another notable work from Semple is “This One Is Mine.” While it shares similar themes of emotional growth and self-discovery, it lacks the experimental structure and nonlinear narrative that give “Today Will Be Different” its unique flavor. On the other hand, Semple’s television writing credits, including for “Arrested Development” and “Mad About You,” demonstrate her range and versatility as a storyteller.

Ultimately, “Today Will Be Different” stands up well against Semple’s previous works, offering a fresh perspective and a compelling story that showcases her evolving style as a writer.


Overall, “Today Will Be Different” by Maria Semple is a captivating and thought-provoking audiobook. Semple’s wit and writing style shine through, creating a unique and enjoyable experience for the listener. The plot is engaging, and the character development is impressive, making it a well-rounded story.

The underlying themes and messages add depth to the novel, elevating it beyond a simple story. The audiobook performance is exceptional, with the narrator’s voice acting choices enhancing the listener’s experience. It is evident that Semple’s talent extends beyond her previous works, showcasing her growth as a writer.

Our final thoughts are that “Today Will Be Different” is an excellent addition to any audiobook collection. It is an entertaining and insightful story that is well worth your time. We highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys Maria Semple’s writing style or is looking for a unique and meaningful listening experience.


What is “Today Will Be Different” by Maria Semple about?

“Today Will Be Different” is a captivating novel by Maria Semple that follows the story of Eleanor Flood, a middle-aged woman who embarks on a journey of self-discovery over the course of a chaotic day.

What is the plot and narrative structure of “Today Will Be Different”?

The plot of “Today Will Be Different” revolves around Eleanor’s comedic and tumultuous adventures as she navigates unexpected events and revisits her past. The narrative structure is a mix of present-day experiences, flashbacks, and introspection.

Who are the main characters in “Today Will Be Different”?

The protagonist of “Today Will Be Different” is Eleanor Flood, a witty and flawed woman. The audiobook also introduces supporting characters such as Eleanor’s husband Joe, their son Timby, and Eleanor’s sister Ivy.

What is Maria Semple’s writing style like in “Today Will Be Different”?

Maria Semple’s writing style in “Today Will Be Different” is characterized by sharp wit, clever humor, and insightful observations about human relationships. Her unique voice adds depth and charm to the narrative.

What are the themes and messages explored in “Today Will Be Different”?

“Today Will Be Different” explores themes of identity, motherhood, forgiveness, and the complexities of adult relationships. The audiobook delves into the idea of embracing imperfections and striving for personal growth.

How is the audiobook performance in “Today Will Be Different”?

The audiobook performance in “Today Will Be Different” is exceptional. The narrator skillfully brings the characters to life through immersive voice acting, capturing the nuances of their personalities and emotions.

What is the critical reception of “Today Will Be Different”?

“Today Will Be Different” has received generally favorable reviews, with praise for Maria Semple’s wit, humor, and storytelling abilities. Critics have highlighted the engaging plot, relatable characters, and thought-provoking themes.

How does “Today Will Be Different” compare to Maria Semple’s previous works?

“Today Will Be Different” maintains Maria Semple’s signature style while offering a fresh take on storytelling. It showcases Semple’s growth as a writer, building upon the success of her previous works.

What are the final thoughts and recommendation for “Today Will Be Different”?

In conclusion, “Today Will Be Different” is a highly enjoyable audiobook that blends humor, introspection, and compelling storytelling. It is recommended for those who appreciate Maria Semple’s writing style and are looking for a thought-provoking and entertaining listening experience.

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