I came across this series after watching a YouTube video about books recommended by Bill Gates. I was surprised to see a romantic fiction novel on his reading list and was very intrigued. This series is hilarious and very enjoyable to read. It is like reading about an older version of Sheldon from ‘The Big Bang Theory’ TV series.
‘#1.The Rosie Project’
Don Tillman, the protagonist of the story is a genetic professor living in Australia who finds himself on a quest of finding a perfect life partner. He is extremely organised, everything in his life is planned to the last minute and the idea of being spontaneous just seems ridiculous. His quest to finding a perfect life partner (who obviously should be a non-smoker, non-drinker, never late and have an appropriate BMI) turns his life upside down when he meets Rosie.
Rosie is also on a quest of finding her biological father. Don, unconsciously drawn to Rosie by her intelligence and beauty, puts his Wife Project on the side and decides to help her. In a matter of days, his scheduled and predicted life is thrown out of the window. While their relationship evolves Don is starting to feel things he does not understand, and naturally, he pushes them away. However, with the help of his two best friends, Gene and Claudia (professor of genetics and psychologist) Don starts to realize that love is not always what looks good on paper.
SPOILER ALERT! The following includes comments on the second and third part of the series.
‘#2.The Rosie Effect’
I did not enjoy this part as much as I did the first one. It was too dramatic for my taste but I kept going because I would not be able to start anything else without finishing the series. In this part, Don and Rosie are both happily married and living in New York. They are about to face a new challenge – Rosie is pregnant! And the problems begin.
Don being Don, decides to learn all the protocols about becoming a father and pregnancy. As overwhelmed as he is, he tries not to be hysterical in front of Rosie but his unusual pregnancy research style gets him into trouble with the law, but thankfully his best friend Gene is there to help (Gene has broken up with Claudia and moved in with Don and Rosie).
As you can imagine, Rosie is not happy about having Gene living with them while they are about to have a baby. She starts to withdraw from Don and keeps him away from everything pregnancy-related, which in my view makes her very annoying as a character. It is like she started to realise that Don has flaws and he is not father material. Well, Don’s flaws are the key point of this whole series which would be pointless otherwise.
The ending is overdramatic with Rosie and ‘her’ baby moving back to Australia and Don trying desperately to convince her to stay. Of course, knowing there is the third part of the story it is easy to deduct that Don succeeded.
‘#3The Rosie Result’
After ten years we are meeting with Don and Rosie back in Australia. They are about to face their most important life project: being parents. Their son, Hudson is, as you can imagine, extremely smart and funny but is having problems at school. His teachers say he is not fitting in with the other kids and move him from class to class which adds additional stress to Don’s and Rosie’s already difficult schedule.
While Rosie is trying to be a full-time mom with a full-time career, Don’s discriminatory outbreak during one of his lectures requires for both of them to make some changes. Don, being a problem-solver decides to take a break from lecturing and becomes a full-time dad. On top of that, he is on a mission of opening a cocktail bar designed for customers like Don who dislike ‘unnecessary’ social contact.
After finishing ‘The Rosie Effect’ I was slightly disappointed but this last part won my heart back. It was thought-provoking, touching on issues like discrimination against women having children while trying to support their career. Also, it teaches us about autism and how to live a full life while being different from what society perceives as a norm. If you enjoyed the first part and connected with the characters, I would recommend sticking with them till the end.