‘The Rosie Effect’1/7/2015
“The Rosie Effect” furthers the adventures of socially awkward genetics professor Don Tillman and his wildly unpredictable wife Rosie Jarman in a sequel to Australian Graeme Simsion’s acclaimed first novel, “The Rosie Project.”
Forty-one-year-old Don has abandoned his Standardized Meal System and relaxed much of his highly organized life in the interest of building a compatible marriage with Rosie, “the world’s most perfect woman.” They have moved from Melbourne to New York where he is a visiting professor of genetics at Columbia University, and Rosie is furthering her psychology studies. Predictably in a “first comes love, then comes marriage” fictional world, Rosie unexpectedly becomes pregnant. Not one to do well with the unpredicted or anything inspiring emotion, Don is faced with an overwhelming challenge.
What follows as Don tries to cope is a sometimes laugh-out-loud funny string of events as he over-thinks, over-studies and over-quantifies the prospect of parenthood. An array of characters—some from “The Rosie Project” and some new—present new problems for him to solve. Without intending to, Don weaves a web of deceit, which gets more and more complicated. The reader has the privilege of seeing Don’s odd behavior from both his perspective and from that of an observer who is able to read normal social cues.
As the events compound, both Rosie and Don question his ability to be a parent, and Rosie makes plans to return to Australia. However, romantic comedies must end happily, and this novel is no exception. Despite his odd reactions to almost everything, Don demonstrates in his own quirky ways his dedication to being a good father. None other than Bill Gates called novel “one of the most profound novels I’ve read in a long time.” This funny, sweet romance tale should not be missed.
Review by Sally Wisdom
Simon & Schuster
Pub Date: Dec. 30, 2014
Sally Wisdom retired from the Des Moines Public Library in 2011 and found her dream job at Beaverdale Books soon after.