All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion

on November 11, 2014

Rosie EffectThe Rosie Effect
Graeme Simsion
Text Publishing
2014, 411p
Read from my local library

Don and Rosie have been married for ten months and ten days and are now living and working in New York City. There have been many changes in Don’s life since the Wife Project – he’s getting used to sharing his space with another person, especially a person who has as much in the way of possessions as Rosie does. They’ve agreed to abandon the Standardised Meal System and that sex is not something one should be scheduling.

Then Rosie drops a bombshell on Don – they have some wonderful news they should be celebrating but all it instills in Don is panic. He cannot seem to reconcile with this news in the happy way that Rosie expects and although he seeks advice from his small group of friends, in typical Don style, his best intentions often land him in trouble.

Everything Don tries to do to fix things seems to make it worse. He’s lying to Rosie (or at least, keeping important things from her) and they grow more apart with each day. Before long Rosie is talking of moving back to Australia, leaving Don behind and he’s going to have to do something drastic if he’s going to be able to convince Rosie to give him a chance. But first he actually has to come to terms with Rosie’s news and what it means for him.

So The Rosie Effect is of course, the sequel to last year’s absolute smash hit, The Rosie Project. I loved the first book so much and although I was originally excited when I found out there was going to be a sequel, there was also a lot of apprehension there too. The Rosie Project is a special sort of book, it’s full of charm and quirks and it’s something that worked really well on its own because it was fresh and new and different. I wasn’t sure how that would work in another volume and I have to say, I didn’t love this anywhere near as much as the first one. There are a few reasons why but I think Rosie is the main one.

I’m pretty sure anyone with a few brain cells can figure out what Rosie’s “special” news is after their ten months of marriage so I’m not going to consider it a spoiler to reveal it, however if you don’t want to know what she tells Don, stop reading right now!

Rosie is of course pregnant with their first child but the thing that really bothered me was that she did this without telling Don that she was going to be attempting to conceive. She stopped taking the Pill and decided to allow nature to take its course, totally not expecting it to happen so soon which I find distasteful and deceitful. Although Don mentions that he’d thought about children, it seems obvious that they haven’t discussed this as a plan for the now. Don thinks they were going to wait until Rosie was finished with some of her study or rotation, whatever it is that she’s doing but Rosie doesn’t want to wait until she’s that old. So she ends up pregnant and Don completely freaks out, partially because of a random interaction he had with a stranger a short time before Rosie drops the bombshell.

Rosie is such a nothing character in this book. She’s barely in it after she tells Don she’s pregnant, instead she retreats further and further into herself, also distancing herself from Don. She moves into another room, she’s always working on her Ph.D it’s as Don says at one point, like the housemate situation of his college years. She doesn’t ever seem to make a real attempt to find out how Don is feeling about this and I might go so far to say as it doesn’t particularly sound like she cares how Don is feeling. When it becomes obvious that is not perhaps coping with it well, she seems to take the attitude that she’ll do just fine as a single mother and Don doesn’t even need to do anything.


You’re married to this person. It’s been less than a year and you are wanting to bail already because Don doesn’t process things the ‘normal’ or expected way. You knew this, Rosie. You knew what sort of person he was and you sprang that on him anyway and then basically left him alone to deal with it with very little in the way of reassurance and support. When Don tries to be supportive of Rosie, he tends to get shot down by her even though he’s trying in his own way to look out for her, help her be healthy and have a comfortable pregnancy and provide the best nutrients for the baby. And because of the fact that Don is kind of on his own, he bumbles from ridiculous situation to ridiculous situation, almost getting himself deported as a pedophile. This portion of the story really irritated me, especially when it becomes evident that Don has been assessed as not being any real danger to the public but is then used by someone because of a tragic incident in her professional past. Especially as this person has met Don in a setting outside of her professional capacity and that fact could indicate a strong inability to be impartial – in fact it’s obvious that there is an inability to be impartial. I just wanted to throw the book at the wall when it kept dragging out. Some of Don’s scenarios (most really) in the first book were quirky and amusing but this one just seemed really ridiculous.

There weren’t a lot of laughs to really be had in this one. There were some amusing scenarios and conversations but I think that what was charming and intriguing in the first book just became a bit stale and contrived in the second. It was almost too much, plus there was none of the spark between Rosie and Don. The fact that they barely interact in any meaningful way really disappointed me. Even at the end, it lacks the punch that it really needs, for me.


Book #231 of 2014


The Rosie Effect is book #17 of the Aussie Author Challenge 2014



3 responses to “Review: The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion

  1. “Rosie is such a nothing character in this book.”

    Yep. Her character is pretty much baby-brained and awful … actually, majority of the female characters in this book could be described that way.

  2. Your review is interesting because I’ve been seeing so many positive reviews from fellow bloggers. Just when I was ready to take the blogger plunge, now I have to thing about it again. I’ve got no time for mediocre!

  3. Deborah says:

    I haven’t read The Rosie Project, but it sounds like this is a bit of a disappointment after the first.


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