Just a little bit earlier this year I read ‘The Rosie Project’ by Graeme Samson. I absolutely loved it and reviewed it on these pages. I couldn’t wait to read the sequel but as always approached it cautiously, unsure how ‘The Rosie Effect’ would stand up to its predecessor.
The thing with sequels is you already know the characters and have certain expectations so as a reader you can’t quite experience that wonderful first voyage of discovery as you get to know and understand them. However the flip side of that is, already acquired knowledge making it possible to immediately pick up with the characters where you left them.
At the end of The Rosie Project we left Don and Rosie about to embark on their life together. We are reunited with them 10 months and 10 days into their first year of marriage, living in New York and working at a University. Don has adopted a less structured lifestyle incorporating unplanned food and unscheduled sex into his life even allowing Rosie to surprise him by cooking their anniversary meal
“‘I hoped she had not attempted the lobster salad. It was critical not to over-fry the leeks or they would become bitter…I stopped myself. Instead I raised my own glass and said the first words that came into my mind. To the worlds most perfect woman’ It was lucky my father was not present. Perfect is an absolute that cannot be modified, like unique or pregnant. My love for Rosie was so powerful that it had caused my brain to make a grammatical error.”
However coping with Rosie’s unplanned pregnancy is an altogether bigger challenge. Don continues to love Rosie but is this enough as he manages impending father hood whilst facing prosecution and deportation at the same time as his old friend Gene, now newly separated from Claudia moves in.
There is much to enjoy in Simsion’s latest offering. None of Don’s character is lost, in fact his development is a joy to behold. He learns to manage multiple problems, often with the support of his mens group. The ‘mens group’ is where much of the humour comes from as together they negotiate the tricky waters of marriage and impending parenthood. The writing remains intelligent and entertaining and the story moves along at a satisfying pace with enough twists and turns to just about keep you guessing until the end
As in the first book I’m constantly rooting for Don and Rosie willing them to ‘survive’. I’m not about to give the game away, but suffice to say if you enjoyed ‘The Rosie Project’. I’m confident you will enjoy ‘The Rosie Effect’.