The Rosie Effect: A Novel

by Graeme Simsion

Paperback, 2015

Call number




Simon & Schuster (2015), Edition: Reprint, 368 pages


The Rosie Project was an international publishing phenomenon, with more than a million copies sold in over forty countries around the world. Now Graeme Simsion returns with the highly anticipated sequel, The Rosie Effect. Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman are now married and living in New York. Don has been teaching while Rosie completes her second year at Columbia Medical School. Just as Don is about to announce that Gene, his philandering best friend from Australia, is coming to stay, Rosie drops a bombshell: she's pregnant. In true Tillman style, Don instantly becomes an expert on all things obstetric. But in between immersing himself in a new research study on parenting and implementing the Standardised Meal System (pregnancy version), Don's old weaknesses resurface. And while he strives to get the technicalities right, he gets the emotions all wrong, and risks losing Rosie when she needs him most. The Rosie Effect is the charming and hilarious romantic-comedy of the year. Graeme Simsion was born in Auckland and is a Melbourne-based writer of short stories, plays, screenplays and two non-fiction books. The Rosie Project began life as a screenplay, winning the Australian Writers Guild/Inscription Award for Best Romantic Comedy before being adapted into a novel. It went on to win the 2012 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript and has since been sold around the world to over forty countries. Sony Pictures have optioned the film rights with Graeme contracted to write the script. It won the 2014 ABIA for Best General Fiction Book and overall Book of the Year. Praise for The Rosie Project: 'Funny and heartwarming, a gem of a book.' Marian Keyes 'Don Tillman helps us believe in possibility, makes us proud to be human beings, and the bonus is this: he keeps us laughing like hell. I'd love to have a beer with the humane and hilarious Graeme Simsion.' Matthew Quick, New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook 'The Rosie Project is 1930s screwball comedy updated for 2013. Hepburn and Grant in Bringing Up Baby, or Rosalind Russell and Grant in His Girl Friday have the exact same pitch, intelligence, wit and farce with a love story at the centre of it all. Madcap indeed, but like those films The Rosie Project underscored with writing meticulously judged...Extremely loud and incredibly long applause.' Age/SMH/Canberra Times/Brisbane Times 'What an endearing, funny book...a quirky love story about belonging with poignant undertones on the need for us all to be more tolerant of those with differences. A must read for 2013.' Courier Mail/Daily Telegraph 'The charm of this story is Simsion's affectionate depiction of his strange, flawed, infuriating, logical and always amusing protagonist.' Weekend Australian… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member lit_chick
“I was happy in the way that I would be happy if the captain of an aircraft in which I was travelling announced that he had succeeded in restarting one engine after both had failed. Pleased that I would now probably survive, but shocked that the situation had arisen in the first place, and expecting a thorough investigation into the circumstances.” (Ch 4)

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.
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LibraryThing member tbritny
Don, after being called Rain Man: “Rain Man! I had seen the film. I did not identify in any way with Rain Man, who was inarticulate, dependent, and unemployable. A society of Rain Men would be dysfunctional. A society of Don Tillmans would be efficient, safe, and pleasant for all of us.”

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.
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LibraryThing member 2LZ
Many thanks to for provIding an advanced digital copy of The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion in return for my honest review.

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.
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LibraryThing member 2wonderY
I had heard the sequel is not as appealing as The Rosie Project, and this is decidedly true. I think there are two huge reasons for this.

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.
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LibraryThing member agarcia85257
The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion is book two in the Don Tillman series that began with bestselling; The Rosie Project. Tillman is a character that is as lovable as he is socially inept. His audience will and does want to hug him tightly as he tries to make it through the challenges of the real world, outside of his genetics laboratory. He's funny without meaning to be. He is the literary embodiment of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory, only with a wish to love and care for others. But his inability to show emotion keeps him from doing so. So he must approach his relationships as an experiment. Weighing all the logical variables. Only in marriage there is little logic involved and the variables are always changing. And now, the biggest variable possible is about to be thrown into the equation.

"..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!
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LibraryThing member porch_reader
This is the sequel to The Rosie Project. Although Don Tillman is happily married and adjusting to life in NYC, he's about to face a new challenge. His wife Rosie is pregnant. Don has no trouble learning all about pregnancy, nutrition, and the process of giving birth, but that's not enough to convince Rosie that he'll be a good father. Once again, Simsion does an excellent job of helping us see the world through Don's eyes, and although it is once again clear that Don does not always pick up on subtle social signals, there is something about him that made me root for him. This was a fun read. It was great to be back with Don and Rosie, and their new challenges and new friends make this a satisfying sequel.… (more)
LibraryThing member TommyB
Not nearly as interesting as the Rosie Project since the protagonist has largely managed to control his OCD behavior, which was the source of most of the interest and humor; and since we are now used to his quirks.
LibraryThing member roses7184
Last year, Graeme Simsion blew me away with The Rosie Project. Despite my qualms at the beginning, Don Tillman soon became a character who I absolutely adored. His punctuality, honesty, and over the top preparation for everything in life made him an intriguing person. I wasn't expecting to love Don. I wasn't even really expecting to like him, to be honest. Graeme Simsion's writing prowess changed all of that, and I was completely thrilled. So, when I saw The Rosie Effect pop up as a sequel? Well, I knew I'd have to read it. No question about it.

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.
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LibraryThing member nbmars
This is a sequel to the justifiably popular and charming book The Rosie Project, now being made into a movie.

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.
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LibraryThing member shelleyraec
The sequel to Graeme Simsion’s debut hit, The Rosie Project, The Rosie Effect reunites us with Don and Rosie almost a year later. Now happily married, the couple have moved to New York where Don is continuing his research at Columbia university, and Rosie is finishing her medical studies, when Rosie announces she is pregnant.

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.
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LibraryThing member muddyboy
Second in a series of "Rosie" books but no reading of the prior book is required. The central focal point of the novel centers around a young couple who find out that they are going to have a baby and whether or not Don, Rosie's husband, is suitable father material to raise a child thus straining the couple's marriage. There are many misadventures including him being arrested as a possible pedophile while videotaping kids and their parents at a playground while doing research on how to be a good parent. This is light, easy to read and fun.… (more)
LibraryThing member melissarochelle
Read from December 21 to 31, 2014

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.).… (more)
LibraryThing member Neale
Not quite as good as The Rosie Project, but still a great read. The main character, Don, was better in this book, but I thought the Rosie character was not as well done.Some great humor and great situations. If you liked the first book you will like this just as much - hopefully there will be more "Rosies" to come.
LibraryThing member melaniehope
I read the first book, the Rosie Project and loved it. The second book was okay, I really struggled between giving three stars or four stars. As I continued reading, I enjoyed the book more. Don is a great character and his quirkiness is just as good in this book.
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.
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LibraryThing member triscuit
I was hoping this sequel would life up to its predecessor and it did. The endearingly flawed characters are fleshed out as their back stories come out. The situations they get into are funny and oddly enough just strange enough to seem real.
LibraryThing member mountie9
Absolutely delightful sequel. Made me laugh and cry & cheer the hapless Don & Rosie along. Plenty of twists & turns, hijinks & unusual yet likeable secondary characters. Feel bereft now that I am done. Excellent narrator for the audio edition. Highly recommend
LibraryThing member ValerieAndBooks
Spoiler alert -- this brief review also covers the first book -- but most people reading The Rosie Effect probably have already read The Rosie Project.

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).
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LibraryThing member foggidawn
Don Tillman is having a difficult week. He's just lost his part-time bartending job, is in danger of eviction, has invited a friend to stay at his apartment even though his wife and said friend don't get along, he hasn't told his wife any of these things yet . . . and his wife has just told him that she is pregnant. Don doesn't do particularly well with unplanned events, and he's not entirely sure he is ready for fatherhood -- or if he will ever be ready for fatherhood. The series of events that follows makes the ones I described at the beginning of this review (and, believe it or not, those events all happen early on in the story) sound tame and manageable as Don runs into all kinds of trouble. Can he navigate the rough waters of impending fatherhood -- or is he going to end up losing both the baby and Rosie?

This book is just as delightful, heartfelt, and funny as its predecessor. Naturally, this book will be best appreciated by those who read The Rosie Project first. Read it! Read both of them! They are fantastic and fun.
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LibraryThing member TooBusyReading
While I really enjoyed The Rosie Project with its very odd protagonist Don Tillman, this book started out feeling too much the same to me. However, as I got into the story, I began to enjoy it more. Yes, Don is still very socially awkward and completely unattuned to the emotional needs of others, but you've got to give him an A for effort.

“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
is hope.

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.
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LibraryThing member Franza
I stared into Dave’s eyes. They were blue. A surprisingly light blue. I had not noticed before, doubtless as a result of failure to look him in the eye.

‘That’s not what I’m complaining about. He’s entitled to an opinion. I let the evolutionary psychology stuff go before, even though it’s crap. I’m talking about his insensitivity.’ ‘We need truth-tellers,’ said Seymour. ‘We need technical people. If my plane’s going down, I want someone like Don at the controls.’ I would have assumed he would want an expert pilot rather than a geneticist flying the plane, but I guessed he was attempting to make a point about emotions interfering with rational behaviour.

‘No. It’s normal to want information. It’s normal to want to be liked. Is there any threat of violence?’ ‘Nah. They just say stupid things.’ ‘Probably a result of being stupid. Highly intelligent people are often bullied. As a result of being different. That difference being high intelligence.’ I was conscious of not sounding highly intelligent.

‘My first wife died three years ago. Cancer. I left her when the band started to get noticed. Thought I could do better. Rock star and all. I never really did. I could say they were all the same, but the problem was I was all the same. When you have the same problem with four women, you start to think it might have something to do with you.’

‘Wow. I slept all the way to LA,’ she said. ‘Incorrect. We’re returning to New York. There’s a suspected terrorist on board.’ Rosie looked frightened and grabbed my hand. ‘No cause for fear,’ I said. ‘It’s me.’
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LibraryThing member jmoncton
This book has all the ingredients for a romantic comedy - likable characters, a difficult situation that threatens to break up a romance, and a satisfactory resolution. But this book is more than the typical romantic comedy. It is the sequel to The Rosie Project, one of my favorite 5 star feel good books. Yes, this book was easy to read, made me laugh, and was very enjoyable, but it wasn't as spectacular as the first one. Part of the reason is the surprise of a story based around a likable character with Asperger's Syndrome was already done in The Rosie Project. Unlike the first book, you don't see huge leaps of character development by Don or Rosie, or that wonderful feeling of seeing 2 people fall in love who you would never expect to even like each other. In some ways, by making this into a series, it's made the book seem less special. I'm probably in the minority here, but I hope there is not another book based on Don and Rosie.… (more)
LibraryThing member nyiper
Picks right up from the first book---and it is wonderfully written. You can't help but like Don and feel "emotions!" for his problem of having no emotion--"just the facts" in his black and white world. But the author is delightfully clever in everything he tries to have Don do. It is a fun book to read and I'm sure there could be some sort of third book IF the author has the energy to keep on with this---keeping up with "Don" as a character looks very difficult, even in Samson's great success with him.… (more)
LibraryThing member kiwifortyniner
did not enjoy it as much as first book.
LibraryThing member debnance
It’s harder to write a great sequel to a book than it is to write a great book. It’s even harder to write a great sequel to a great book.

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.
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LibraryThing member Cecilturtle
This sequel is as charming as the first. With Don being the cooky character that he is, I was afraid that the novelty would wear off. But Simsion has evolved this characters, enough that they are enduring and not so much that we can't recognise them. The original cast is all there and the web they weave makes for hilarious situations with real emotional moments.
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.
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