Friday, April 10, 2015

The Rosie Effect

Title:  The Rosie Effect
Author:  Graeme Simsion
Publication Information:  Simon & Schuster. 2014. 352 pages.
ISBN:  1476767319 / 978-1476767314

Book Source:  I read this book as it is the sequel to The Rosie Project.

Opening Sentence:  "Orange juice was not scheduled for Fridays."

Favorite Quote:  "... I had concluded that being myself, with all my intrinsic flaws, was more important than having the thing I wanted most."

The Rosie Effect is a sequel to The Rosie Project. The book really should be read as a sequel for it assumes knowledge and understanding of the characters and events of the first book. The first book introduced Don Tillman, a professor of genetics, whose need for order and whose logic and routine based approach to life display many of the characteristics of someone with Aspergers. Yet, he does not see it in himself.

The first book was all about Don's quest to find a mate. He starts with his methodical approach. Then enters Rosie, who is nothing like his list of characteristics. However, Rosie reaches beyond his logic, and the two get married.

At the beginning of this second book, Don and Rosie have moved to New York City. Rosie is studying at Columbia University, and Don continues his teaching and research. As the stork on the cover of the book may imply, a baby enters into the picture. Rosie is pregnant, and Don feels unready and unprepared.

So, he undertakes research on how to be a father - research that allows him to approach this new life change in his own organized, logic-based manner. As has happened many times in Don's life, people misinterpret his "research." Unfortunately, this time, it lands him in trouble with the law and dealing with a social worker, who seems set against him.

This book does not have all the joy and humor that the first book did. It deals with a more serious side of life. In The Rosie Project, I find myself laughing at some of the situations and cheering for both Don and Rosie. In this book, I still cheer for Don, but, more than that, I feel a sadness for Don. For a lot of reasons.

First, it's the little things like his description of having to get used to living with another person. He creates himself an office in the spare bathroom, for he can be there alone and undisturbed. Perhaps, that is meant to conjure a humorous image, but I would hope that a life partner would be more understanding.

Second, in the first book, Rosie is a main character and a likable one. In this one, she seems somewhat absent for a lot of the time, and somewhat unlikable for the rest. She gets pregnant, without really having agreement from Don about having a child. Then, she fails to understand his concerns. She is so caught up in the pregnancy and her own work that she seems to forget about Don and about compromise in a relationship.

Third, Don is ill prepared for his role as a father. Yet, when he sets out to educate himself, he is faced with people who further want to sabotage his efforts. It seems especially odd that a trained social worker does not recognize Don's needs and hinders rather than helps his efforts.

I am still puzzled by the turn the story took. Warranted, this book is a first person narrative in Don's voice. Perhaps, that might explain his view of the lack of understanding displayed by other people. However, The Rosie Project has the same narrative voice and felt so joyful. Perhaps, that is the nature of the relationship. The first book was about the first rush of romance with its rose-colored glasses; this book is about life in a relationship, with its ups and downs and with its dose of reality. Either way, this one's a little disappointing after the first.

Please share your thoughts and leave a comment. I would love to "talk" to you.


  1. I wanted to read both books, so my husband bought me The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect. I struggled to finish The Rosie Project. The story dragged and both Rosie, Don, and Gene were absolutely annoying. I did finish the book, but I just can't get myself to start reading The Rosie Effect. I did like Don, but I was surprised in his choice of mate. I expected the book to be better given the fact that Bill Gates and his wife read it, the only reason why I read the book in the first place.

    1. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I read The Rosie Project for our book club. It led to an interesting discussion about relationships, which the topic we found to ourselves able to relate to in the book. I am the only one who went on to read this sequel.

      I did not know that The Rosie Project was on Bill Gates' reading list. I now looked up and read his reviews.

      Hope you are on to reading books that appeal more to you.

    2. I'm currently reading an Advanced Reader's Copy of Sweet Forgiveness and I love it so far. Highly recommend!

    3. I am glad to hear your recommendation! I just received an advance copy as well. I am looking forward to reading it. Check out my "5 star" reads to see my recent favorites. What other books have you enjoyed recently?