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The Rosie Effect | Graeme Simsion | Reviewed by Ria

*Review copy c/o Netgalley, Image via Goodreads 

Almost a year after the events of The Rosie Project, we find Dr Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman now happily married, living in New York in their small (but adequately sized) apartment, whilst Don has taken on the role as a visiting professor at Columbia University and Rosie studies for her MD qualification. Everything in their marriage so far has been smooth sailing - standardised meal system and part-time cocktail making and all - until Rosie drops the unexpected bombshell that she’s pregnant.

In typical Don fashion there’s only one way to handle such an unexpected turn of events in his life…turn Rosie’s pregnancy into a nine-month project to prepare for the oncoming child that he will inevitably have to help to raise.

What’s my verdict?

Writing a sequel to the highly popular, The Rosie Project, was always going to be a tough feat. Throwing poor Don the pregnancy wildcard on paper should ensure plenty of laughs and an interesting spin to the character but I just couldn’t find the spark that I had whilst reading the first novel. Though the plot line itself was humorous enough, I couldn’t find myself getting on with Don as much as I did with the first book. Where his inept and overly-logical nature was endearing in The Rosie Project, in this story Don’s mishaps are more cringe-worthy than adorable. Whether deliberate or not, Simsion seemed to wrestle with making Don more human and sticking true to his analytical mind and because of this the mishaps he got into seemed much more unreasonable and easily avoidable.

The other characters, however, did add a colourful spin to the book. Where Rosie was the only person with real interaction with Don in the first book, in contract she is very noticeably absent for a lot of the sequel. In her place we do have a much broader range of the couple’s friends from New York, not to mention a familiar face in Gene (one Don’s only friends from the original novel who has exhausted his wife’s patience and unceremoniously moved in with Don and Rosie). Gene adds an interesting dynamic to the couple’s lives, though his character traits from the first book are much more likeable in the sequel.

The ending did make up for much of what the main narrative lacked. The comedic and ridiculous twist, coupled with Rosie’s more assertive presence and a much more classic version of Don’s bumbling nature, made for a really heart-warming wrap up to the book.

New York City: Among Savages; Flaws & Ceilings: Frank Hamilton; For You: Joe Brooks; Baby Mine: Bette Midler; Be Okay: Oh Honey

For lovers of…The Rosie Project, The Big Bang Theory and Forest Gump.

This post was written by regular reviewer Ria, get to know her here.

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