‘The Rosie Effect’ is the sequel to Graeme Simsion’s 2013 hit novel ‘The Rosie Project’, which sold over a million copies across the world.
Following the success of ‘The Wife Project’, Don and Rosie have moved to New York. Don’s adjusting to life with fewer routines, he’s made some new friends and when it comes to being in a relationship, he seems to have it cracked. But then Rosie falls pregnant, and Don’s perfectly ordered life is turned upside down. The result? Meltdown.
And so begins the Baby Project. As Don struggles to adapt to the idea of becoming a parent, it seems the things that made Rosie fall in love with him in the first place are the things that might just make him too much to handle as the father of her child. Don tries and tests everything he can to prepare for the birth of his child and to live up to Rosie’s expectations – with sometimes hilarious effects – but will it be enough to save his marriage.
Told entirely from Don’s point of view, his complete reliance on the literal and the logical make for a truly entertaining read. It’s heavily implied that Don has a degree of Asperger’s, and while he has complete confidence in lists, in facts and in statistics, understanding the intricacies of social interactions is somewhat harder for him to comprehend. But this unique approach to life is what makes him so loveable as a character. He’s straightforward, unswervingly honest and completely committed to achieving his goals.
Don’s various encounters with the law are particularly amusing, starting at the moment that his baby research project takes him to a children’s playground. But these sections also highlight the difficulty that the world has communicating with people like him. His intentions are constantly misunderstood and misinterpreted by the people around him, giving him a whole new set of problems to tackle. There’s a great deal of frustration caused on both sides.
As readers, with our insight into the workings of Don’s mind, we understand his intentions perfectly, but it’s clear that the rest of society doesn’t work in the same way. Instead, he’s immediately flagged up immediately in the system as a potential risk. Although this doesn’t affect Don emotionally, from my point of view, I really felt for him and was rooting for everything to come right in the end.