Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving
Book sequels aren’t always rewarding but I enjoyed the character of Don Tillman in The Rosie Project so much that I wanted to read about what he was getting up to in The Rosie Effect.
Don and Rosie had decided to marry and move to New York City from Melbourne, Australia so that Rosie could continue her PhD studies at Columbia University and Don could join the genetics department and continue his research into the effect of alcohol on the livers of mice.
Don is a very direct person who avoids eye contact and goes into great levels of detail when answering a question. He struggles to read facial expressions and body language. Do you know someone like Don? Does he drive you crazy?
My innate logical skills were significantly greater than my interpersonal skills. Without people like me, we would not have penicillin or computers
I love reading about Don. Graeme Simsion is a talented writer who maintains the perfect balance of humour, absurdity and tension throughout the novel, as with the Rosie Project. Don reminds me of many Australian men and while they can be difficult I find such men relatively easy to get along with in short doses because of their predictability and appreciation for people who are willing to engage them in conversation.
As you can imagine Don gets up to some hilarious escapades in New York, including while working one evening a week in a cocktail bar suggesting that a drunk and belligerent pop star (who he doesn’t recognise) should have a virgin mojito because she may be pregnant or is she simply overweight? You can imagine how much she would have enjoyed that! Or when he starts research into child rearing by jogging in the rain in a raincoat and bike helmet to a children’s playground and filming children playing. I won’t spoil what happens but I think that you can imagine.
I can relate to Rosie, who is a straight talking, competent, extremely driven and fiercely independent woman. It’s interesting that throughout both books I assumed that she was relatively normal and was good at putting up with Don. However in The Rosie Effect I realised that she doesn’t have many friends her own age and that’s odd. Then there is a scene where a university student talks to Don about Rosie and we, for the first time, have an outsider’s perspective of Rosie as an overly driven and unapproachable person who doesn’t welcome friendship.
It’s not literature but it’s not chick lit either. I thoroughly enjoyed this quick read and I continue to savour Don as a character who I will miss. Did you enjoy the book? Did it live up to your expectations from The Rosie Project?
Here’s another couple of reviews that you may like reading: