Thursday, 12 November 2015

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project was one of my favourite books from 2013, a story about a genetics professor and his quest for love. Don Tillman isn’t your average Aussie bloke by any means. Incredibly brainy, he’s socially inept with a tendency to turn everyday activities into a spreadsheet or timetable.

The Rosie Effect is the sequel, and deals with Don and Rosie’s life together in New York where Don has a post at Colombia University and Rosie is studying medicine. But while their relationship seems to be going well - Rosie has set some ground rules about Don’s overzealous planning – his equilibrium is upset when Rosie announces her pregnancy.

This sets in motion a hilarious train of events: Don is sent to anger management classes at the risk of deportation, and they are thrown out of their apartment. However, Don manages to keep all this secret from Rosie and solves their problems in his uniquely inventive way. But as the baby’s birth approaches, Rosie seems to be doubting Don as good father material and the two begin to draw apart. Don is desperate to keep Rosie and calls upon the advice of his growing number of friends, who all somehow have problems of their own.

What makes these books work so well is the slapstick comedy on the one hand and the bighearted nature of Don on the other, who not only wants to fix his own relationship, but help his friends too. The story builds to an action-packed climax and a denouement that is both surprising and hilarious. Does The Rosie Effect live up to the promise of Simsion’s first book? I would say unequivocally yes, and I can only wonder if in a year or two we will have The Baby Effect to look forward to. Here’s hoping.

Posted by JAM

Catalogue link: The Rosie Effect

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