Due to be published in the UK next week, ‘The Rosie Effect’ is the sequel to Graeme Simsion’s bestselling ‘The Rosie Project‘. Now married and living with Rosie in New York City, socially awkward genetics professor Don Tillman has successfully completed the Wife Project. However, just as Don is about to announce that Gene is coming to stay, Rosie announces that she is expecting a baby – the biggest possible disruption to Don’s ordered life. His careful research into pregnancy and fatherhood inevitably lands him into trouble very quickly.
Simsion very kindly agreed to answer some of my questions about ‘The Rosie Project‘ earlier this year and explained how he had written the first book after originally developing it as a screenplay. ‘The Rosie Effect’ features some similarly eye-catching comic set pieces but feels much more like a novel rather than a screenplay turned into a novel as ‘The Rosie Project’ did. Moreover, while the book is still light-hearted, Simsion moves away from the more straightforward romantic comedy formula of the first novel with Don encountering more serious problems in his relationship with Rosie.
Nevertheless, Don is just as endearing as he was in the first book. He diligently monitors Rosie’s diet, attends her ante-natal classes and attempts to make sense of her fluctuating hormones in preparation for the birth of “Bud”. However, while Don continues to be socially inept, he is also starting to demonstrate a bit more awareness about how to navigate the trickier situations he finds himself in. Simsion balances the humour well, ensuring the reader is rooting for Don and not just cringing at his latest social faux pas.
A film of ‘The Rosie Project’ is currently in development but ‘The Rosie Effect’ will certainly keep fans of the first book amused in the meantime. Although there has been no official word yet on whether there will be a third book in the series, I’m sure there could be a good story about Don’s experiences as a new parent with Bud running rings around him.
Many thanks to FMcM Associates for sending me a review copy of ‘The Rosie Effect’ which will be published by Penguin Books on 25th September in the UK.