The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion
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|The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: The geneticist with the logical outlook on a world that refuses to comply is back! His wife project accidentally resulted in Don Tillman marrying crazy, independent, original Rosie so how will the baby project turn out? Not as great as The Rosie Project but that just means good instead of brilliant.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 432||Date: September 2014|
|Publisher: Michael Joseph|
|External links: Author's website|
Following inadvertent success with the Wife Project, Professor Don Tillman and his new bride Rosie have moved from Australia to New York. Although Don's position on the autistic scale is subjective, he still operates on a daily basis of structured procedures, lists and logic. Rosie can generally handle that but there are choppy waters ahead. With the patter of tiny feet, imminent logic goes out the window as she struggles with her PhD while Don struggles to find his place in the baby production process. At least he has his drinking buddies to support him – an ageing rock drummer and a friend whose wife has thrown him out for infidelity. What could possibly go wrong?
Aussie author and screenwriter Graeme Simsion totally wowed me with The Rosie Project which I still rate as the best rom-com novel of all time. I was therefore really excited to pick up this, the sequel. Is it as great? No, but that just means that it's good (and still very funny) rather than brilliant.
Don is as Asperger's/autistic spectrum as he was last time we met him and trying desperately to learn how to be a husband to the woman he loves. He still writes lists, has a meal system on which to structure his cooking and cannot tell a lie outright. (Although he's learning to do a good line in sidestepping issues.) However, life has it in for him with the arrival of his friend Gene from Australia.
It's all a bit of a misunderstanding really. Gene's wife Claudia doesn't understand Gene's experiment: to sleep with at least one woman from each country.
When Rosie becomes pregnant without discussing it in a satisfactory manner, the meal structure suffers and as for the lie avoidance… I shall leave you to discover the children's playground episode that left me guffawing with almost as much gusto as the public talk in the first book. The playground is something that comes back to haunt poor Don over and over in myriad, clever ways.
For those who like a bit of meaning, there's a theme beneath the comic topic: parenthood at each stage, be it burgeoning, the teen era and (via Don's parents), interacting with a child that ceased to be one a long time ago. Subtle and sometimes poignant, once again Graeme emerges as an eagle-eyed observer of the human condition.
So, I hear you asking (and I ask myself) why isn’t it as good as last time? Don is still wonderful in an almost human-alien way. Rosie's response to his style of love is understandable as she battles with her PhD and morning sickness causing us to be fickle and to side with her just as ardently as we do with Don. Yet our familiarity with Don takes away some of the originality so that in some cases we can guess Don's reaction to something before he reacts, making us smile when we would have laughed.
The jeopardy segment is a little predictable, having been flagged quite a bit before it occurs, leaving us with another will they/won't they situation with echoes of The Rosie Project'. However, after that comes a brilliant farce that would gladden the heart of Faydeau himself.
Please don’t let me put you off - this is well worth a read. Although there are moments when I wished it would move a little faster, it will brighten many a dark day. It may also dissuade you from ever going to a children's playground again but the story's well worth such a risk.
(Thank you, Michael Joseph, for providing us with a copy for review. We also have a review of Simsion's The Best of Adam Sharp.)
Further Reading: If you haven't read it already, please, please read The Rosie Project. We promise you won't regret it. If you've already a fan, try some more excellent romantic comedy in the form of Men I've Loved Before by Adele Parks. You might also enjoy In The Rooms by Tom Shone.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion at Amazon.com.
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