Sequels are always tricky things, especially if you’ve never written one before. Thankfully, a strong and unusual character like Don Tillman combined with his marriage and move to New York allows for a natural progression of the storyline. In The Rosie Effect, Don tackles an unexpected announcement after settling into his NYC routine – Rosie is pregnant and he’s about to become a father.
While most expectant fathers get excited about such announcements, to Don it is an unscheduled surprise. Yet despite this kink in his needle, he decides to take it upon himself to ensure Rosie receives the optimum nutrition and support while also trying to understand what it means to be a father.
Unfortunately, Rosie is less than enthusiastic about Don’s attentions and begins pushing him away, insisting that the pregnancy is all about her. While we don’t really delve very much into Rosie’s mind and reasonings – this story is told from Don’s perspective after all – I have to admit that she does come across as unreasonable and harsh towards Don’s attempts at becoming a supportive spouse, so much so that he begins hiding his attempts-gone-wrong at trying to understand what it means to be a father, just to ensure she doesn’t stress out and harm the foetus.
Maybe it’s her pregnancy hormones, or maybe it’s her own experience growing up with a single parent, but despite me finding Rosie’s behaviour completely unjust towards Don, it is also the main catalyst for the story to keep it moving forward. I could feel Don’s confusion and hurt at being left out from her decisions and development, yet he continues to be supportive of her decisions regardless.
The Rosie Effect is definitely an entertaining story, and one that kept me up significantly past my bedtime most nights. But if you’ve never read The Rosie Project before though, don’t start here. It is important you get to know where it all began. Plus if you like funny, yet smart but not typically romantic reads, both these books are definitely worth adding to your list.