The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Effect is a sequel that didn’t need to be written. I very much enjoyed its predecessor, The Rosie Project, when I sped through it in 2014. In fact, immediately after finishing I hurried on to its sequel, keen to see where the next chapter of Don Tillman’s story lead. But within a few pages I set it aside again, feeling perhaps overdosed on Don’s foibles for now.

It was only when The Rosie Effect appeared as a book group book that I returned to it, two years later. And after finishing, frankly I rather wish I hasn’t. As a sequel, The Rosie Effect is so lackluster and disappointing that it’s tarnished my memories of the original.

There are a few chuckles to be had, but I felt that we were often rather cruelly set up to laugh at Don’s expense – for instance in an incident where he prepares for impeding fatherhood by videoing children in a park – which ends about as well as you’d imagine.

The relationship between Don and Rosie that was originally so compelling and easy to root for decays here to the point that I could barely stand Rosie. Not only does she trick Don into getting her pregnant, she then decides that all the elements that make him so unique also make him uniquely unqualified to be a father. She displays no understanding of the man she married whatsoever. And we’re meant to be hoping these crazy kids find a way to make it work? Give me a break.

If you enjoyed The Rosie Project and want to know where the story leads next, just sit in a dark room for twenty minutes and imagine it. I promise, you’ll have more fun than reading this book.

[Read from 9-13 August 2016]

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