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Today Will Be Different

by Maria Semple

Our 40-something scatterbrained but big-hearted heroine, deciding her life is in a rut and that she needs to raise her game as a wife and mother, embarks on a madcap programme of self–improvement which badly backfires in the space of one day. The free-association narrative is waylaid by satirical riffs of cultural commentary and family background which play out like storyboard scenarios for a TV comedy series - and is enormous fun to read.

Extract

You know how your brain turns to mush? How it starts when you’re pregnant? ... But then you stop nursing and the terrible truth descends: Your good brain is never coming back. You’ve traded vocabulary, lucidity and memory for motherhood. You know how you’re in the middle of a sentence and you realize at the end you’re going to need to call up a certain word and you’re worried you won’t be able to, but you’re already committed so you hurtle along and then pause because you’ve arrived at the end but the word hasn’t? And it’s not even a ten dollar word you’re after, like polemic or shibboleth, but a two dollar word like distinctive, so you just end up saying amazing?
Which is how you join the gang of nitwits who describe everything as amazing.

Parallels

Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiney
Us by David Nichols
May Contain Nuts by John O'Farrel
 

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