Book Review: The Rosie Effect


A few months into their marriage, Rosie announces her pregnancy. Don Tillman does not feel prepared for this unplanned event, and has serious doubts about his ability to be father. He embarks on a project on learning how to be a father, while simultaneously managing a social world bigger than he’s ever had. Can their marriage survive with the addition of a third person to the family?


This book was another easy read after The Rosie Project. I had high praise for the first novel, and I can only give better praise to the second. I’ve read several reviews which consider this to be a disappointing sequel. I suspect that they fell in love with the ‘romantic-comedy’ feel of the first book, which is less present here. I’m a reader who fell in love with the characterisation and genuine portrayals, as you will soon read.

Don Tillman

The best thing about the first novel was Don’s character. For those who haven’t read my previous review or The Rosie Project, Don is a geneticist professor with undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome. His friends have become accustomed to his lack of social skills, but this often leads him into trouble with strangers, including the police and airport officials. His unique way-of-thinking is marvellous and charming (to me), and I find a home in his portrayal. Consequently, I feel the pain of his social failures and the lack of understanding the world has.


As I’ve also said in the previous review, this series is based upon character arcs and great writing. The events that happen in this book are more interesting than the first, and once again, quite unique and pertaining to Don Tillman. The author makes us believe that some of these unusual events that wouldn’t happen to most of us, do indeed take place, because Don’s life is a predicament of unpredictability emerging from his heavily-structured life.


This time around, the novel has juggled my emotions as if they were a clown’s toy. The Rosie and Don relationship is constantly a central relationship to the series, and it progresses to a new level with the expectation of their baby. Their family would now have to include two more relationships: Rosie-baby and Don-baby relationship, which would alter theirs. Furthermore, Gene and Claudia, friends of Don, had split and Don tries to fix their problem. Dave and Sonia, who are Don’s friends and also pregnant, struggle with their relationship and business as well. The interplay of all these relationships is done beautifully, with each person contributing different advice and experiences to the story.


An easy 5/5 stars rating. I loved this book even more than the first in the series. The portrayal of Don is believable and exquisitely exciting. There is no predictability with what will happen in the lives of Don and those around him. And to those who negatively reviewed the book and said that the novel is problematic for not clearly stating that Don is autistic, I have one thing to say. Many adults (and children) are undiagnosed, and Don is a great depiction of this, as he is not controlled by any therapy or institution to behave like neurotypical individuals.

Sources and Links:

Book: The Rosie Effect

Book Cover: Goodreads

Book Review: Jeremy Mifsud

Header Photograph: Cristina Gottardi

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