Author: Graeme Simsion
Provided Synopsis: Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman are back. The Wife Project is complete, and Don and Rosie are happily married and living in New York. But they’re about to face a new challenge because – surprise!- Rosie is pregnant.
Don sets about learning the protocols of becoming a father, but his unusual research style gets him into trouble with the law. Fortunately his best friend Gene is on hand to offer advice: he’s left Claudia and moved in with Don and Rosie.
As Don tries to schedule time for pregnancy research, getting Gene and Claudia to reconcile, servicing the industrial refrigeration unit that occupies half his apartment, helping Dave the Baseball Fan save his business, and staying on the right side of Lydia the social worker, he almost misses the biggest problem of all: he might lose Rosie when she needs him the most.
Review: “What happened?” I asked myself numerous times as I read The Rosie Effect. How could a sequel destroy the foundation of characters I had been established with so completely?
Don’s voice continued to be unique and easy to engage with. The straightforward and highly logical complexities of his mind still fascinate and amuse me. I would read another book with his narrative voice as long as it was solely about his group of male friends and his adventures in New York.
But would I want anything to do with Rosie again? Absolutely not. Throughout the story Rosie frustrated me to the point that I nearly hated her. I have never been pregnant, so perhaps the fault lies within me as my lack of experience made it impossible to empathize with her and her behavior. Or, perhaps the entire problem can be placed at the feet of the author. Why did you make a character that had been dimensional in The Rosie Project into a caricature of an angry and irrational pregnant woman? How could you make a woman whose name is in the title and who holds such an important position in Don’s life into a side character? Everything that dealt with Rosie — resolutions included — were the worst part of this book.
In the end, I am not sure I would recommend this sequel. Don gets himself into some humorous situations, but other than that the actual storytelling was lacking in comparison to its predecessor. With the addition of the decline of Rosie’s character I would advise to stick with The Rosie Project and the good memories it brings.
(I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The expected US publication date is December 30, 2014).