Monday, October 26, 2015

A society of Rain Men would be dysfunctional. A society of Don Tillmans wold be efficient, safe, and pleasant for all of us

Remember when Emily of As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) wrote about how great The Rosie Project is and then I read it and it was great? And then Simsion wrote a sequel to it and though he didn't call it Rosie and Don Take Mahattan, it was still pretty fun. Apparently even Bill and Melinda Gates are fans.

In the first book, Don Tillman is looking for a wife and in typical Don fashion, breaks it out into questionnaires and spreadsheets. He then gets pulled into a separate project to help Rosie identify her father and of course those two projects result in the unlikely pairing of Rosie and Don falling in love. (Spoilers, I guess...)

This book picks up with Don and Rosie living in New York. He's teaching at Columbia and she's a med student. Things are going well when Rosie announces she's pregnant and Don begins to freak out. Which is not necessarily the wrong reaction, especially for someone who does not do well when things are not following a carefully curated scheduled. Which I hear babies are TERRIBLE at following.

Don's reaction to finding out about the pregnancy:
I was happy in a the way that I would be happy if the captain of an aircraft in which I was traveling announced that he had succeeded in restarting one engine after both had failed. Pleased that I would now probably survive, but shocked that the situation had arisen in the first place, and expecting a thorough investigation into the circumstances.
This tips off a series of events where Don does what he can to try to prepare for the baby while Rosie is seriously worried he'll actually be able to bond with this kid. Then there are a series of wacky misunderstandings that keep building on each other and yeah, the book probably would have been a lot shorter if the characters actually stopped and took like 10 minutes to explain things to each other. But of course that doesn't happen.

I liked the book. I did. BUT it's not as good as The Rosie Project, though I suppose sequels rarely are.

My biggest problem with this book was the fact that Rosie didn't seem to make much sense. As I mentioned, Rosie is worried that Don won't be a good father because he won't be able to bond with the kid, but she never actually talks to Don about this. Or anything. The two of them hardly speak and I get this is supposed to be them drifting apart, except Don isn't drifting because Don cannot read subtle cues so it's really just Rosie slowly sneaking out because she KNOWS Don isn't going to pick up on little things like the two of them sleeping in separate rooms. I mean, I get her being overwhelmed with her work and also being pregnant and not seeming to have anyone to talk to but the things she expected from Don seemed out of character. I'm not saying her concerns about Don aren't valid, but she's one of the few people that understands how Don operates so a lot of the way we see her interacting with Don seemed out of character.

BUT OVERALL the book was entertaining and Don was still Don, who I've been picturing as Dr. Reid from Criminal Minds, so that's fun.

It may not be better than the first one, but I was still entertained.

Gif rating

Title quote from page 42

Simsion, Graeme. The Rosie Effect. Simon & Schuster, 2014