Orange juice was not scheduled for Fridays.
Don Tillman first unleashed his logical yet incomprehensible charm in The Rosie Project (review here) and the world immediately loved him! The book was an international best-seller and therefore meant a follow up was definitely on the cards… Enter The Rosie Effect.
I was really worried about opening this book – what if Graeme Simsion has crumbled up the ‘second album’ pressure? What if Don just doesn’t have his wonderful Don-ness anymore? Racing through this follow-up, I soon realised that I needn’t have worried because The Rosie Effect is a great light-hearted read! Though it was never going to top the brilliance of the first book, The Rosie Effect does preserve everything that was wonderful and special about the debut of Don and Rosie but this time following them face the trials and tribulations of impending parenthood.
From the very first paragraph, I felt like I was back in the world of Don and Rosie – such is the cinematic writing style of Simsion. There are wonderful turns or phrases or misunderstandings that still make you giggle, despite knowing Don better than before. The dead pan delivery of some of his lines are still utterly flawless and can induce spontaneous stranger-staring snorts of laughter in confined public spaces – you have been warned!
The biggest weakness in the sequel for me is the portrayal of Rosie. She is more than a little bit on the periphery in this book which, given that they are a married couple now, does make the story a little off balance. Simsion narrative focus makes it clear that this is very much Don’s tale about the pressures of parenthood and only his tale, which is really disappointing particularly when you consider the great chemistry the two characters have in the debut.
If anyone is expecting The Rosie Effect to be a Rosie Project 2.0, you will be disappointed for nothing can match the sheer originality of the first book – mainly because this one is the follow on! What you will get however is a well-written and light-hearted revisit to the amazing characters you fell in love with the first time.