Frequent readers of my reviews may remember what I said about The Rosie Project:
“I admit I had been avoiding it, finding any excuse just short of reading the phone book rather than read “a romance”. …. “I was forced to open it, fully intending to give it the once over and get onto more interesting books. How wrong I was! This is a delightfully whimsical read full of humour and charm”
I am very grateful I was introduced to the Book of the Year 2014 awarded by ABIA (Australian Book Industry Awards). When the sequel was announced I immediately said “me please”.
Warning! Clear the decks before opening the cover, this novel is seriously “un-put-down-able” and immensely readable! I love Graeme Simsion’s style; he captures our hero perfectly and his conversational style clearly differentiates between characters.
As you know Don and Rosie completed both the Wife and the Father projects in the first novel and as we open The Rosie Effect, they are living in New York. Don is a professor at Columbia University and Rosie is completing her thesis. With his usual level of efficiency (some would say obsession) Don has done the budgeting and found the appropriate apartment; they can afford it, it is not ideally located, but getting to Columbia is not too taxing and life for the 10 months and 10 days married couple is, dare I say it, rosy.
So what could possibly happen to get Don arrested, sent to a pedophile assessment psychiatrist, an anger management group for men who abuse their wives, stand in danger of losing his job and of being deported? Well this is Don! And normal sentences can be badly misconstrued in his too literal mind.
It starts quite simply; Rosie announces, “We are pregnant” and suddenly Don’s world is upside down. How could this have happened? Walking timetable Don knows pregnancy is not on their schedule; there has been no discussion and anyway Rosie is taking the Pill …. Isn’t she?
If I have a quibble with the book, it is that in staying her own person, Rosie comes across a little stereotypical “pregnant female”. Some of the funny situations in The Rosie Effect have very serious undertones, so that while I had a quiet chuckle, my amusement was tempered by the more serious implications.
Some reviews are saying The Rosie Effect is not as good as The Rosie Project; I don’t agree! In my opinion, the problem is that Don does not have the same shock value; having met him before, we are more comfortable with him. Any life, even a fictional one, can only go so far before it becomes a caricature, and Don is no caricature. Each of us experiences books differently and Don Tillman is a very different experience, one I thoroughly enjoyed … twice.
On Tuesday 7 October, I had the great pleasure of listening to the author speak about his work thanks to booksellers Dymocks who organized a “Meet the Author” in Brisbane. He is a delightful person with the quirky sense of humour, evident in Don Tillman, and in real life tells some delightful stories, directly related to his life and books. He was full of praise for his publishers, Text Publishing www.textpublishing.com.au who I would also like to thank for my ARC.
Graeme Simsion is in his own words “A writer of plays, short stories and a couple of short plays. An occasional producer of films – primarily for those for which I am screenwriter. Formerly an IT specialist (data modeling) and founder of a business and IT consultancy. Helped establish two other businesses: Roy’s Antiques and Pinot Now.”
Graeme is married to fellow author Anne Buist, a father of two and lives in Fitzroy, Australia. He has written and sold the script for The Rosie Project but at this time, the cast has not been announced