** Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

Is it possible to rescue a book that starts (very) badly? Today Will Be Different may be exhibit one. Its first half presents the heroine as a shallow, bumbling, self-centered wife and mother who cannot manage her (simple) calendar and whose ten-year old son seems infinitely more grounded and in charge. I must say I slogged though all that, counting pages. And then, her back story emerges, in which she appears as entirely capable, although a bit of a drama queen, and with many interesting adventures to boot. I certainly wish we could have skipped that first half.

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