The Wife Project is complete, and Don and Rosie are happily married and living in New York. But they're about to face a new challenge.
Rosie is pregnant.
Don sets about learning the protocols of becoming a father, but his unusual research style gets him into trouble with the law. Fortunately his best friend Gene is on hand to offer advice: he's left Claudia and moved in with Don and Rosie.
As Don tries to schedule time for pregnancy research, getting Gene and Claudia back together, servicing the industrial refrigeration unit that occupies half his apartment, helping Dave the Baseball Fan save his business and staying on the right side of Lydia the social worker, he almost misses the biggest problem of all: he might lose Rosie when she needs him most.
When I first heard there was to be a sequel of The Rosie Effect I was so excited to be reunited with one of my favourite fictional characters- Don Tillman. Refreshing my memory of Don I can only describe him as a more mature Sheldon Cooper (character from The Big Bang Theory comedy series). He's intelligent, witty, hilarious without realising it and a little too organised and at times overbearing. But he means well and despite his best efforts he isn't always understood.
When I first read a review in the Guardian newspaper, they noted it as "twice as long and only half as good" so admittedly I was a little wary of my hopes being destroyed.
However, personally I felt this book was still a good read, an unpopular opinion perhaps but I enjoyed being back in the world of Don and Rosie.
Throughout the novel Don takes on a number of problems, not just the responsibilities of fatherhood, but taking on his friends problems too. His best friend Gene who has split with his wife Claudia, decides to move to New York with Don and Rosie- much to her dislike of Gene and his womaniser ways. Furthermore Gene's relationship with his children Carl and Eugenie are also strained due to the split. We then have his friend Dave who is also a soon to be a father to his wife Sonia's baby and George a drummer in the apartment upstairs who hasn't contacted his drug addict son for a long time because he believes it was his fault that he became a drug addict in the first place. With all these domestic situations looming over Don, he becomes wrapped up in everyone else's problems and assisting Rosie in ensuring the pregnancy goes exactly as the textbook says, he forgets to form an emotional attachment to his unborn child. As Rosie grows larger, the love between her and Don seems to burn out.
What I loved most about both novels is how Graeme sensitively deals with a person with Asperger's, I'm no expert or know everything about it but I have some understanding. He confronts Don with characters who don't understand why Don is different and make him out to be an idiot, which at times was infuriating and made me sympathise with Don. That being said, Graeme gives it a lighthearted edge to it where Don makes the reader laugh with him rather than at him like the characters do. What I think spoilt this book for me was I felt Graeme had rushed the last quarter of the book. The situations Don got himself into seemed so far-fetched and I felt that it was unnecessary of so much to be crammed in.
Overall I adored this book, it holds realistic situations and outcomes. Like I discussed with my friend Sarah, we felt that a theme perhaps that this book brought out was communication and how we communicate with others. We don't always have a fully understanding of what someone is saying and can often take things to heart or disregard them, it made me realise that I'm maybe not always aware of how I'm talking to someone and that I should be a bit more aware of how other interpret conversations. You may think this novel seems like a serious one which it is but like I said previously Graeme gives it a sensitive and yet humourous edge! If the rumours of a third book to the series is true I'm looking forward to seeing how Don turns out as a father :-)