GRAEME SIMSION

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The Rosie Effect (2014)

If the Wife Project wasn't complicated enough for Don Tillman, he's about to face his toughest test yet - he's going to be a father. Don's experience with babies is zero so he does what any expectant father should do and studies up. Except, of course, he doesn't stop at books and tutorials, he seeks practical, real-life experience and inevitably gets himself in a spot (or two) of bother. And whilst he goes all out to gain the necessary skills and knowledge, doubts creep in that maybe he's not up to the task. Opening up this second book, the sequel to The Rosie Project, and once again being transported into Don's world and mindset is like meeting up with an old friend you've missed. From the first sentence, Simsion immediately brings Don back to life and settles the reader in for another unique episode. As with its prequel, the novel is fun, entertaining, with some truly memorable anecdotes, but more so than the last book, this one is serious and moving. Whilst Don may struggle with empathy, readers certainly will not. At times, my heart ached for Don, and I must admit I found it difficult to connect with Rosie and her treatment of Don. I had expected to see more of the milestones in the pregnancy, but with Don pursuing his own methods of preparation for fatherhood these are somewhat bypassed. Though I guess if there's one thing to expect with Don Tillman, it's the unexpected. With the birth of Don and Rosie's child taking place in the very last chapter, there's plenty left for Simsion to pursue in a follow-up and I've got my fingers firmly crossed that we'll soon have the privilege of Don's company again. (JC)


The Rosie Project (2013)

Don is a ridiculously clever genetics professor who is looking for a wife. After the Apricot Ice Cream incident, he decides he is bored of wasting his time dating unsuitable women. In comes The Wife Project, a questionnaire designed to filter out all of the bad matches and leave Don to date the compatible women only. He thinks this is the perfect way to find his life partner. Then suddenly, Rosie bursts into Don's life, changing his plans. She is a smoker, always late and totally unsuitable for Don. However he finds himself attracted to Rosie and they go on a journey together working on The Father Project and soon Don realises that maybe he can love someone who is not compatible for him. From start to finish of this most fantastic book, you will be laughing out loud and wishing you knew Don personally. Probably the best book this year so far. (LL)


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