Book Reviews

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion


Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman have been married for almost a year, and things are going smoothly – so far. The newlyweds have moved to New York from Australia and finally established a rhythm of some sort living in their cozy apartment. Don has grown accustomed to sharing a bed and a bathroom with Rosie, abandoning the Standardised Meal System in favor of wine nights, restaurant dinners, and cooking only when they felt like it, and finally understanding that sex need not be scheduled at all.

And then one day Rosie announces that she’s pregnant! In true scientist fashion, Don takes the news in the most scientific way possible. He commences research on fetal growth and charts the baby growth weekly on the wall in his home office. He makes Rosie eat only food that are highly recommended for pregnant women and their babies. He designs his own soundproof baby crib so that when the baby comes, he will not be woken by the sound of the loud drum from the apartment upstairs.

But then Rosie says, in not so many words, that she doesn’t think he will be a good father to their baby. Don is baffled. He has done his research and followed everything his friends had advised him, but still he has failed. In an effort to prove to Rosie that he is fit to be a father, he embarks on a mission to be the best ‘normal’ father anyone could ever have. But to be successful in this endeavor, Don must stop being Don. And for someone who never lies, the lies just keep on piling up. Don finds himself right smack in the middle of awkward social situations, with threats of criminal prosecution. How can he convince Rosie to stay in New York and still manage to come clean and gain her respect?

I didn’t find The Rosie Effect as enjoyable as The Rosie Project, but it’s still great to be reunited with Don, Rosie, their equally quirky friends, plus some brand new ones. Maybe I should blame it on her pregnancy hormones, because I really thought Rosie was such a bitch here. Don is still quite the funny man, but I can’t help feeling that some of the situations he got himself into are plain ridiculous and just lame attempts by the author to inject laugh out loud moments. But the book succeeds in painting the picture that happy ever after only exists in fairy tales, and that marriage requires a lot of labor, love, and yes, most of the time, even lies.


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