My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Title: The Rosie Effect
Author: Graeme Simsion
Series: Don Tillman, #2
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Text Publishing Company
‘We’ve got something to celebrate,’ Rosie said.
I am not fond of surprises, especially if they disrupt plans already in place. I assumed that she had achieved some important milestone with her thesis. Or perhaps she had been offered a place in the psychiatry-training programme. This would be extremely good news, and I estimated the probability of sex at greater than 80%.
‘We’re pregnant,’ she said.
The Rosie Project was an international publishing phenomenon, with more than a million copies sold in over forty countries around the world. Now Graeme Simsion returns with the highly anticipated sequel, The Rosie Effect.
Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman are now married and living in New York. Don has been teaching at Columbia while Rosie completes her first year of a psychology degree. Just as Don is about to announce that Gene, his philandering best friend from Australia, is coming to stay, Rosie drops a bombshell: she’s pregnant.
In true Tillman style, Don instantly becomes an expert on all things obstetric. But in between immersing himself in a new research study on parenting and implementing the Standardised Meal System (pregnancy version), Don’s old weaknesses resurface. And while he strives to get the technicalities right, he gets the emotions all wrong, and risks losing Rosie when she needs him most.
I received this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
I loved The Rosie Project and recommended it to several people. Those who read it also loved it. I was thrilled to find out there was a sequel, although I didn’t think one was necessary. It was a great stand alone book.
Having said that, I am so glad I got to read The Rosie Effect. It is another great book and I enjoyed seeing Don and Rose as their relationship progressed. However, it is not as light a book as the first. Rose has gotten pregnant on purpose without discussing it with Don. She is dealing with her own emotional problems which are exacerbated by pregnancy hormones. Mostly, she is terrified that Don won’t be able to emotionally connect with the baby.
Don tries to manage as he has always done . . . by learning as much about pregnancy and small children as he can. This leads to numerous problems involving giving nutritional advice to Rose (not well received), encounters with the law, and court ordered therapy. Since Don knows from his research that Rose should not be stressed, he hides the last two from her.
Actually, I think he would have been safer to have withheld the nutritional advice and told her about his run in with the law.
In a way, this book was heartbreaking. Don tries so hard. He loves Rose and does everything he is capable of doing to keep her happy. It just doesn’t work.
This statement from Don which comes near the end of the book explains so much about his difficulties dealing with others.
“I was suddenly angry. I wanted to shake not just Lydia but the whole world of people who do not understand the difference between control of emotion and lack of it, and who make a totally illogical connection between inability to read others’ emotions and inability to experience their own.”
Make no mistake. The Rosie Effect is a great book. It’s just not as lighthearted as The Rosie Project. Read it. You won’t regret it.