The Rosie Effect is the sequel to 2013’s runaway hit The Rosie Project, author Graeme Simsion’s debut novel (reviewed here). That romantic comedy followed the efforts of Don Tillman, a genetics professor and extremely socially inept, to procure a life partner for himself. The Wife Project ends successfully with Don finding true love with the free-spirited and quirky-in-her-own-way Rosie.
The sequel opens with Don and Rosie starting their married life in New York City. Don is feeling very satisfied with his adjustment to marriage, until he notices orange juice on his breakfast table one morning. “Orange juice was not scheduled for Fridays.” , he muses in the book’s opening sentence, and it’s the beginning of even more changes for Don. Rosie, you see, is pregnant.
A comedy of errors ensues as Don tries to adjust to this unplanned event. His best friend from Australia moves in with Don and Rosie after his wife kicks him out, Don’s endeavors to observe fathers in action end up getting him arrested, and his attempts to take control over the pregnancy have, of course, the opposite effect. As troubles start mounting, Rosie begins to doubt that Don is meant for fatherhood.
This blurb from Simon & Schuster sums it up nicely: “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. ”
I enjoyed The Rosie Effect, though I must admit, not as much as The Rosie Project. Half of the fun in the first story was getting to know Don and his myriad of quirks. The sequel also seemed a bit rushed to me, with almost too many crazy misunderstandings thrown into the plot to keep it lively. I listened to the audiobook version narrated by Dan O’Grady, who was fantastic. A very enjoyable read, even if I didn’t love it as much as the original. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.