The Wife Project is complete, and Don and Rosie are happily married, 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. As Don tries to schedule time for pregnancy research, getting friends Gene and Claudia to reconcile, and staying on the right side of the social worker, he might lose Rosie when she needs him the most.
Rosie and Don are married and living in New York City, Don pursuing an impressive academic career at Columbia, and Rosie working on her PhD. To understate, Don’s world is thrown rather for a loop when he learns Rosie is pregnant, a momentous event which takes him completely by surprise. To round out the fun, the professor recounts a Bluefin tuna social disaster, and gets them evicted from their apartment after a meltdown in which his attempts to constrain his martial arts talents dismay a neighbour. Oh, and he moves them into the beer and wine cellar of an aging rock star.
I didn’t enjoy [The Rosie Effect] as much as its predecessor, [The Rosie Project], but it was good, light fun.
I thought the Rosie Project was a really charming, but I was really disappointed by the sequel. This books seemed to just go on and on and on. I felt like I experienced every minute of the nine month pregnancy. There was just too many over-the-top situations packed in the book, so by the time we get to a cliche "running to the airport" scene my eyes were about to roll right out of my head. Rosie was so one-dimensional and awful in this book that I didn't want the ending that I was supposed to want.
There are some humorous parts and it is always fun to read Don's interpretation of events, but overall this book was just OK.
"..Rosie raised the glass as if proposing a toast. This turned out to be exactly what she was doing.
'We've got something to celebrate, Captain,' she said. She looked at me for a few seconds. She knows that I am not fond of surprises. I assumed that she had achieved some important milestone with her thesis. Or perhaps she had been offered a place in the psychiatry training program on completion of the medical course. This would be extremely good news, and I estimated the probability of sex at greater than 90 percent.
She smiled-then, presumably to increase the suspense, drank from her glass. Disaster! It was as if it contained poison. She spat it out, over her white dress, and ran to the bathroom. I followed her as she removed the dress and ran water over it.
Standing in her half-purple underwear, pumping water in and out of the dress, she turned back to me. Her expression was far too complex to analyze.
'We're pregnant,' she said..."
Tillman, who is still gathering the knack at being a husband is now faced with the oncoming responsibility of being a father. Add onto it a best friend who is tossed out by his wife for continuing infidelity, another who is having difficulty sharing his emotions with his wife as well, and an aging rock star landlord with issues connecting with his children.
Tillman approaches all of this in his normal analytical way with disastrous results. He ends up arrested, threatened with prison or at the least having his visa revoked and being deported, and with the love of life Rosie, leaving him with his unborn child. Can this brilliant genetics scientist figure out the answer in time?
The Rosie Effect suffers from the same disease as most sequels. It isn't as good as the first. More so, its not even in its league. Tillman is as lovable as ever, but what was a nuisance in the first novel has become an overbearing albatross in The Rosie Effect.
Every other character in this book sucks! All the men are emotionally weak and unable to be of any support to anyone at all. The women are either hindered by emotional pain or angry and bitter at everyone to see beyond their own issues. But worst of all, is Rosie.
This is the love of his life? Seriously Tillman, you need to get out more. A well educated student of psychiatry can't recognize her own self-destructive and vindictive emotional mood swings? There is absolutely nothing likable about Rosie. Nothing that says she deserves a man who loves her. Even if the man is unable to express it well on an emotional level. But then she knew that well before she married him, and there is a lingering feeling that she got pregnant on purpose even though she knew they would not be in a position to support the child emotionally or otherwise. She is selfish and childish and if you really love the character of Don Tillman, the last thing you want is for him to stay with her.
The book ends with the baby born, everyone happy and the marriage saved. That is not a happy ending. The happy ending is the baby born, Tillman learning to become a father and Rosie run over by a freakin' train!
Now that's a happy ending!
I find Don Tillman to be an amazing character. I loved him from The Rosie Project, and I continue to adore him in The Rosie Effect. He is good-hearted, well-meaning and smart, very smart, but he is also strange and different, annoyingly so at times, but he recognizes his oddities and he struggles with his limitations. But, regardless of some his missteps, his motives are always genuine and well-intentioned. No wonder he has such loyal friends in Gene, Dave, George, and Sonia. As for Gene, I never really understood Don's friendship with the serial philanderer from The Rosie Project. However, the Gene from the The Rosie Effect is much different and I really liked this endearing character. The bond between Gene and Don is a special one, and providing this other side to Gene added depth to the story; convincing me to change my opinion of him is a credit to a great story-teller.
My problem with the novel, stems from my new dislike of Rosie. I did not find her lovable or likable. Her quirkiness, brash honesty and originality from The Rosie Project seemed to have been replaced by selfishness in The Rosie Effect. Don Tillman spent the entire novel trying to please and care for Rosie, and Rosie did the same. She was self-absorbed and it was difficult for this reader to empathize with her.
That being said, The Rosie Effect is an enjoyable read. It was fun to revisit with prior characters and meet the new additions.
1 - Rosie is nearly completely missing from this book. She is physically present, but totally emotionally NOT. Even towards the end of the book and its resolution, we don't hear her voice. She has actually become a non-entity. I could find no sympathy for her, just thought she was being unfair and a real twit.
2 - The legal entanglement that Don gets himself into is not attractive and has to lean very heavily on Lydia's unexplained personal issues to carry the plot. Don's susceptibility to others' advice has him making bad decisions. They are cringe-worthy.
The saving grace is Don's friendships. His boys-night-outs are something to look forward to. We get a new look at old friend Gene. And we can applaud how Don's presence in their lives has value and meaning.
I think the book is mis-named.
Now for those of you who might be coming in to these books new, let me tell you a little about Don. He has Asperger's, and as such is a rather complex man. He schedules everything, loves to gain new knowledge, and has a bit of a hard time with empathy and social situations. That's why I was so intrigued by the premise of The Rosie Effect. We all know that the prospect of a new baby is exciting, but stressful. I could only imagine how Don, of all people, would deal with an unexpected pregnancy. In my mind, I saw lots of intense planning! I was right. Oh yes, I was right.
I think it's only fair to mention that Rosie is rather insufferable in this particular book. I had a difficult time with her the first time around. Her feminist views, and overall demeanor in fact, were only bearable because Don was so sweet on her. I couldn't let her derail my adoration of him. This time, I almost put this book down multiple times because of Rosie's character. Her selfishness, her petty views, the way she treated Don, all of it made me want to slap her and tell her that he was too good for her anyway. As before, Don really stole the show and that helped a lot with my enjoyment of this book. I'm pretty sure my opinion of Rosie borders on abject hate at his point though.
Moving on, even Rosie wasn't enough to keep me from loving this story. Watching Don's growth from the last book to this one was wonderful and hilarious. His new groups of friends, the new problems he creates for himself, all of it was classic Don. He's a character that I can't help but like. I have to say that he just keeps on surprising me. Despite everything else, I had a lot of fun watching him navigate this new chapter in his life. Bravo, Mr. Simsion. Let's hope that if these two come back for another book, Rosie gets her act together.
Now Don needs to learn about fatherhood, and so we have his men's group and his alternative parenthood study. His new living arrangements are kind of bizarre, too. Good stuff, what is missing for most of the book is Rosie. She shrinks into the shadows of the story before making a flaming comeback towards the end. Will I read book 3? Definitely.
I feel that this one is missing some of the humor that I loved in The Rosie Project. Everything seemed much too serious. Rosie knew what she was getting into when she married Don but now she's "accidentally" pregnant and realizes he's "too crazy." I would have found it much more enjoyable to see Rosie and Don go through the pregnancy together instead of all the secret-keeping (a problem I had with the Sarah MacLean book I just read, too.).
Like the previous book, this one is narrated by Don Tillman. In the sequel, this 41-year-old genetics professor from Melbourne, Australia is now working at New York’s Columbia University. Don has been married to Rosie Jarman for ten months when she announces she is pregnant.
Don is “wired differently than most people,” possibly having Asperger’s syndrome. He avers that he recognizes some of the symptoms in his own personality traits, but adds:
"…humans consistently over recognize patterns and draw erroneous conclusions based on them. I had also, at various times, been labeled schizophrenic, bipolar, an OCD sufferer, and a typical Gemini.”
However, it is undoubted that empathy and human contact are somewhat problematic for Don, as are social skills [sic] like dishonesty and deceit. He also is not good with flexibility and dealing with disorganization. This new wrinkle in his life with Rosie throws him, and he freaks out.
He embarks on a campaign to get the situation under control by learning everything he can about pregnancy and parenthood, with sometimes hilarious repercussions. His total of six friends (not counting Rosie and his family members) all get involved, as well as a couple of new friends he adds to the group.
The situation comes to a head in a zany scene worthy of the Keystone Kops, and ends in a way satisfactory to all characters, not to mention, readers.
Evaluation: As with the last book, Don’s literal-mindedness makes many of his thoughts and actions very, very funny, but the reader isn’t laughing at this very lovable protagonist, but with him. The sequel does not have quite as good comedic pacing as the first book, although ironically, it would in fact make an even funnier movie than the first book.
Don’s initial reaction to the news is blind panic but he quickly focuses on the practicalities of the situation. He finds them a larger apartment (rent free to boot), reads up on pregnancy and obstetrics, researches prams and cribs, and fills his bathroom/office wall with sketches of ‘Bud’s’ development. What he doesn’t realise is that Rosie assumes Don is not at all excited about having a child and is growing increasingly unhappy.
I feel like Simsion did Rosie a disservice in this novel, she becomes a stereotype of an unreasonable pregnant woman and quite frankly she comes across as a bitch with regards to Don. Her attitude and behaviour was not at all what I expected from the Rosie I got to know in The Rosie Project and I was disappointed by the way she was often absent from the story altogether.
There were some laughs on offer as Don tries to come to terms with everything but on the whole, The Rosie Effect is much darker than the first book. It wasn’t as feel-good or as poignant as I expected and at times the humour felt a little overworked.
Gene, Don’s philandering best friend, reappears in the The Rosie Effect having been thrown out by his wife, Claudia, and lands on Don and Rosie’s doorstep. To be fair, though still a creep, Gene does try to support Don as he struggles with impending fatherhood, though his advice, taken literally, lands Don in quite a bit of trouble. I did like Don’s new friends – Dave and his pregnant wife, Sonia, and Rosie and Don’s landlord, George.
The Rosie Effect doesn’t have quite the wit or charm of its predecessor but it’s not a bad read, I just found it a little disappointing.
Rosie and Don have been married for just over and year when Rosie discovers she is expecting their first child. Don is not quite sure how to organize this surprise into his very organized, scientific life.
What follows is another fun story about the original relationship between Rosie and Don and impending arrival of a third.
If you were a fan of the first, then you will enjoy this book as well. I received a complimentary e-book via Netgalley in exchange for a fair review.
Mr. Simsion has crafted another wonderful story with The Rosie Effect. Just as with The Rosie Project, Don and Rosie appear to be at cross-purposes at times and this leads to a series of unfortunate misunderstandings. Although Don doesn't show his happiness or excitement about having a baby to Rosie, he goes out of his way to find them a larger apartment (which they share with beer dispensing equipment), researches fetal development, and even enlists his father to develop a soundproofed crib since their upstairs neighbor/landlord is in a rock band. Don is also on a quest to get his best friends Gene and Claudia backs together.
I found The Rosie Effect to be a delightful, fast-paced read filled with lots of joy, laughter, and some sadness (much like life). The joy and laughter often came from Don's machinations (give him credit for trying to help his friends as well as his lack of understanding that the wedding must be celebrated every year on the anniversary date) and exploits (the park arrest and subsequent attempt to obtain counseling were laugh-out-loud funny). The reader gets to see another side to Gene and he becomes more sympathetic in this story than in The Rosie Effect (trust me and read the book to get the lowdown). Rosie is changing, partially due to the pregnancy and due to her struggles with her dissertation, medical school, and Don's apparent lack of feelings about the pregnancy. Mr. Simsion provides us with new characters, such as Dave the Baseball Fan and his wife, a judgmental social worker, and an aging rock-star. If you read The Rosie Project, then you'll want to run and get your copy of The Rosie Effect. You haven't read The Rosie Project?! What are you waiting for? Grab a copy today so you'll be able to follow Don and Rosie's story in The Rosie Effect!
NOTE: You may want to read these books at home unless you don't mind quizzical stares from strangers when you're reading and laughing out loud in public. I recently reread The Rosie Project while waiting to be seen at a physician's office [no I didn't reread the entire book while waiting]. For a while I thought the staff was going to send me for a psych consult until I explained what I was reading. Fortunately the doctor's nurse had read the book and completely understood my behavior.
When I learned that Bill Gates' favorite recently-read novels was this one (The Rosie Project) and its sequel (The Rosie Effect), I was intrigued. I read both back-to-back and enjoyed both immensely, although the sequel seemed to be more written with a movie in mind (lots of madcap mishaps, more so than in the first book). The first is about Don Tillman, a geneticist with Asperger's traits, meeting a woman (Rosie) who is the complete opposite. The second is about their struggles as newlywed expecting parents. Don sincerely wants things to work out but due to his lack of social graces, finds himself in constant hot water. I predict a third book will come out eventually, in which Don and Rosie learn how to be parents with yet more hilarious mishaps.
Both books were easy reads and I'd recommend them highly.
(Note: this review covers both The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect, both of which I give 4 stars).
Graeme Simsion did that.
I read and loved The Rosie Project last year. I pushed it off on lots of my book friends.
I’m not much of a sequel girl, so it was with great trepidation that I approached The Rosie Effect this morning, the first day of the brand new year. Don’t let me down, I murmured, Please don’t let me down.
I’m so happy to say that The Rosie Effect did not let me down. I say this about very, very few sequels: The Rosie Effect might even be a little bit better than The Rosie Project.
You have to love Don and Rosie, with their off-putting personality quirks, and you have to love how they found each other in this crazy world.
Now, in Effect, they decide to bring a baby into the mix. Well, Rosie does, somehow thinking Don will follow. When he doesn’t, it can cause all sorts of fascinating problems, knowing, as we do from the start, that this author is going to find some kind of wacky way to work everything out.
Okay, I’ve probably said too much, but I suggest, no, I urge you to get this fun novel and give it a read yourself. It’s zany and improbable and hopeless, just like real life, and I think you just might love it as much as I do.
A delightful way to spend a weekend; it's the kind of book that will renergise thanks to its heart-warming characters and happy ending.
Those who found themselves laughing and pulling for Don and Rosie in The Rosie Project will similarly enjoy The Rosie Effect. The Rosie Project was narrated by socially inept and brilliant geneticist Don Tillman, who approaches problems with excellent logic and little common sense. He's largely blind to the social cues we take for granted (he's been the subject of many diagnoses, including Aspberger's Syndrome), but he fell in love with Rosie Jarman while helping her find out who her father was. If you haven't read that first one yet, read no further in this review, and go read The Rosie Project.
In The Rosie Effect Don and Rosie have married and now live in New York, where he’s a professor and she’s a medical student. He loves sex with Rosie, and has studied carefully how to best approach her about it:
“Sex was absolutely not allowed to be scheduled, at least not by explicit discussion, but I had become familiar with the sequence of events likely to precipitate it: a blueberry muffin from Blue Sky Bakery, a triple shot of espresso from Otha’s, removal of my shirt, and my impersonation of Gregory Peck in the role of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird.”
Don has adjusted to Rosie's disorganization compared to him - he's philosophical, for example, about never being sure which room her bath towel will end up in. But something is off-kilter, as we know from the book's opening line: "Orange juice was not scheduled for Fridays." Rosie drops the bombshell that "we're pregnant." The ultimate chaos creator, as all parents know. Don responds with his usual determination, including creating a new Standardized Meal System with optimum nutrition for pregnancy, and as usual gets himself into deeper and deeper trouble. Having been advised to observe children interacting, he starts videotaping kids in a playground, and soon gets himself into more trouble.
He is surrounded by an eclectic group of friends, including his overly-amorous friend Gene and his insightful wife Claudia, Dave and Sonia, who are expecting their first child and experiencing their own chaos, and the rock star landlord for Don and Rosie's apartment who takes a shine to Don. All of them want to help Don, as does a disapproving therapist he is ordered to see, but their advice often is at cross-purposes. Meanwhile, Rosie, whom he views as "the world's most perfect woman", is developing serious doubts about Don's ability to cope as a father, and her ability to cope with him, and their relationship enters dangerous waters.
Will it all sort out? Read it and find out. As with the first book, you'll find yourself cheering for Rosie and Don to make it. Four stars.
“I thought for a moment, then added, only because it might reduce the chances of jail and consequent low-quality food, dull conversation and unwanted sexual advances, 'I'm somewhat socially incompetent.'” No kidding!
“I have a theory that everyone is as odd as I am when they are alone.” Ummm, I don't think so.
“My love for Rosie was so powerful that it had caused my brain to make a grammatical error.”
For all of those who are socially inept, although perhaps (hopefully) not to the degree of Don, there
In this story, secrets, something rather alien to Don, multiple and are a challenge, weaving a very tangled web. Towards the end of the story, it feels like a “Who's on first” kind of skit. In the long run, it's a feel-good story that is again about people who are a bubble off plane doing the best they can. I will definitely read the next one when it comes out.
I was given an advance reader's copy of this book for review. The quotes may have changed in the published edition.