Thursday, February 18, 2016

Review: The Rosie Effect

The Rosie Project was a delightful novel, so much so that I immediately placed a hold on the sequel, The Rosie Effect at the library. The reviews for the second novel weren't nearly as great as the reviews for the original, and some even told me to avoid reading it as it was dreary.

This is inevitable, as the first novel ended with a marriage, and in all stories, that's always attached with a "and they lived happily ever after." That's a fantasy, of course, as in real life, as Yishan Wong notes that even successful marriages involve a lot of conflicts.

Since The Rosie Effect is about post-marriage and a baby, it's reflective of these conflicts, though of course from the point of view of Don Tillman. In characteristic fashion, Tillman explores and investigates the idea of having a baby, and this gets him into hot water in more ways than one. Since the novel is written from his point of view, he's bewildered by society's (and his wife's) negative reactions to his attempts to explore this space, and muddles through as best as he can.

There are scenes that look like they were written to be in a sitcom, with a setup and then an unexpected delivery. They're funny, and of course in the end we realize that the man with Asperger's is a far better person than most of the normals in the novel.

The minuses is that to get these situations to happen, lots of setup is required and we get some very unlikely events as a result.

This is not as good a read as the original, but it's not unreadable, and had enough fun moments to justify my continued reading to the end of the book. While I hesitate to attach a "recommended" tag to this novel, it's nevertheless not as bad as some of the reviews would have you believe. Of course, whether a merely "OK" novel is worth your time is a different story.
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