Thursday, August 20, 2015

Book Review: The Rosie Effect

There was a long hold list for this follow-up book to The Rosie Project (about a man with Asperger's Syndrome who uses a very methodical manner to find himself a wife) by Graeme Simsion. Thus, I used one of my little tricks to get The Rosie Effect earlier. I checked it out in the large print edition. I so loved the main character in the first book that I had to give the second one a try.

Don Tillman has snagged the lovely Rosie as his wife. All is smooth sailing until she announces that they will be bringing another person into the equation because she is expecting a baby. Don knows he is an odd bird. He recognizes his failure to catch on to social cues, his tendency to over think things, and his different way of processing information. Having a baby presents more than the standard anxieties for a person with Asperger's. And, believe me, Don approaches this new development with his classic Asperger-esque style.

I enjoyed the book up until about the middle. Once again, I found myself chuckling at the predicaments Don created for himself because of his unique manner. When a friend tells him he should observe children to familiarize himself with what he will encounter, he decides to research them at the local playground. He begins videotaping from his phone, which leads to an understandable altercation with the police, who, attempting to touch him, discover his expertise in Aikido. Now Don must convince a social worker that he is harmless and well-suited enough to be handed the responsibilities of parenthood. But, not wishing to add to Rosie's stress, he decides to pass someone else off as his wife during the interviews. Needless to say, this goes wrong as well, with humorous results.

Somehow, however, things begin to sour between Rosie and Don. I just didn't like the book as much when Rosie wasn't sympathetic to Don's peculiarities. In fact, I began to dislike her character. So for the second half of the book, I found myself liking the story less and less.

Moreover, it began to take on an over-the-top feel to the story line. At one point, Don performs a cesarean section on a pregnant woman. His attempt to convince Rosie to return leads to conflicts of epic proportions. Then, the ending seemed to quickly attempt to pull everything back together.

As much as I'd love to give it a glowing review (because I really do love Don Tillman's character and reading about his unique approach to life), I just can't bring myself to do so. I don't regret having read it. It was amusing and a delightfully quirky read, but I much preferred the first book over this one. Still, if you loved Rosie and Don in the first, chances are pretty strong that you will want to give this one a shot despite my hesitations and dissatisfactions.

No comments: