Over the Near Year’s holiday week, I read The Rosie Project and fell in love with Don and Rosie. It was the perfect book for me that week that I was feeling sick, and it lifted my spirits, as I laughed and cheered on Don’s fumbling attempts to win Rosie’s love. I enjoyed the characters so much that I couldn’t wait to read more about them, and recently enjoyed reading the sequel, The Rosie Effect.
This isn’t really much of a spoiler - since the first book was a romantic comedy – to say that Rosie and Don are together in the sequel. They have moved from Australia to New York City, where Don is working & teaching at Columbia and Rosie is working on her PhD thesis there. They are just as much of an endearing odd couple as ever, with Don’s overly structured approach to life and Rosie’s spontaneity and enthusiasm. Don now counts six people as friends, a huge increase from where he started in the first book. Besides his old buddy Gene and his wife Claudia from the first book, Don has befriended a refrigeration engineer named Dave with whom he likes to go out for burgers, beer, and baseball talk, and Dave’s wife, Sonia. Isaac and Judy, local friends of Rosie’s mother, are also among Don’s friends now.
At the start of this second book, Rosie has a big surprise for Don: she’s pregnant. Poor Don has just adjusted to a life with less structure, sharing his life and apartment with Rosie, and the elimination of the Standardized Meal Plan, so the news that he is going to be a father is understandably unsettling for him. Wanting to be sure to do everything right, Don develops a research project to learn to be a good father. As always with Don, though, his good intentions go awry and he soon ends up in trouble with the police.
Like The Rosie Project, this second novel is often very, very funny, as what seems logical to Don leads to all sorts of unintended consequences and misunderstandings. I was surprised, though, by how touching and poignant this novel is as well. At one point, I was almost brought to tears because I had come to care about Don and Rosie so much and wanted things to work out for them.
From a misunderstanding over sustainable tuna to a lesbian mother’s group to Don delivering a baby amidst a screwball comedy of mistaken identities, The Rosie Effect will keep you laughing and turning the pages, but it will also touch your heart. By the end, I hated to say good-bye to Don and Rosie and wished they could stay with me just a little bit longer. I will soon get my wish, as The Rosie Project is being made into a movie.
368 pages, Simon & Schuster