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I read lately The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect by Australian author Graeme Simsion. Both books enable you to follow the life of Australian genetician Don Tillman. The books are both funny and very sweet.
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The Rosie Project
In the first book, The Rosie Project, Don is single. He has had bad experiences by dates with women, mostly because he has asperger and his social skills are not very good. Don is very intelligent and a successful genetician but he has problems interacting with other people. His two (and only) friends, Gene and Claudia, are supporting him although they are themselves facing problems in their couple.
Don who loves organization and efficiency above everything comes up with an idea to solve his relationship problem. He decides to set up a form that will help him to find the perfect woman. He is looking for a woman who is highly intelligent, always punctual, who does not smoke and does not drink alcohol.
However, Gene, who is supposed to help Don with his wife project, sends Rosie to him, as a „wild card“. Rosie does not know about Don’s project but accepts Don’s invitation to dinner. The evening is full with funny, unexpected events and Don thinks he will never see Rosie again. After all, she smokes, drinks alcohol, is always late and works as a bar keeper. However, he can’t help getting involved in Rosie’s search for her biological father. As a genetician, he is indeed particularly the perfect person for such a project.
A long quest follows as Don and Rosie try to test genetically any man who could be Rosie’s father. The only information they have is that Rosie’s biological father and her late mother studied medicine together and had an affair the night of the graduation party, which means they have to test a lot of people.
As they are working together on Rosie’s father project, they get to know each other better and start having strong feelings for each other. Will they be able to build a real relationship in spite of their differences?
The Rosie effect
The Rosie Effect is the sequel of the Rosie Project. Now Don is married and lives in New York. Everything is going well until Rosie tells him that she is pregnant. Don is happy but extremely worried. First, he has not had any time to prepare the baby project. Second, he is wondering whether he will be a good father. Third, he is worried about his relationship with Rosie as they are facing difficulties in their marriage.
Fortunately, Don and Rosie have several friends who support them. Their friends Dave and Sonia are expecting a baby too. Moreover, Gene and Claudia’s relationship is getting worse than ever before and Gene comes to live together with Don and Rosie. Rosie is first furious but finally, both are happy to have him to help. Don and Rosie even become the neighbors of a British rock star!
My opinion on the books
I like the books as I found them really sweet. The relationship between Don and Rosie is often complicated but the love between them is very strong. I like the fact that thy both have flaws. I find many romance books a little annoying because they have male characters that are absolutely perfect, even if the heroin only understands that in the last chapter of the book.
There are only two points I do not like much in the books. First, some situations feel somewhat exaggerated. They can be funny but they do not feel realistic. Second, I felt that Rosie is not developing as much as Don. Whereas Don does change a lot through the books, Rosie seems to be always facing the same problems and does not seem to grow as much. In the second book, this was sometimes annoying.
What I find interesting in the book is that we discover the story through Don, who has asperger. This is fascinating to see how he is being the world in which he lives and how he is organizing his life. The evolution of the character is also very interesting. Don is learning a lot about social interactions through his relationship and in the course of the two books, he is able to develop new meaningful friendships. Indeed, the books are not only focused on Don and Rosie but also give an important place to Don and Rosie’s friends, who are all very well written.
In 2019, the author published a third book, The Rosie Result, which takes place ten years after The Rosie Effect. I am planning to read it too.