Hi, Hey, Hello!
I’ve spent all week convinced for moments that it was Friday so I am currently very happy that tomorrow I will finally be right. It’s been one of those weeks and my weekend comes with the promise of Season 4 of Orange is the New Black. So that’s me sorted. Anyway I’m going to just get on with the point of today’s post.
Today’s book is this little (fairly page-y) bad boy:
I loved The Rosie Project so much. It was a breath of fresh air when I picked it up last year. And coming back to Simsion (finally, honestly I’ve had this book for so long now) was like returning to something super familiar that you hadn’t realised that you’d missed. Until you do.
The opening line just threw me straight back into that world and all the particularities that came with Don. (‘Orange juice was not scheduled for Fridays’.) That tiny little, yet in the only way possible with Don totally crucial, detail of the orange juice just being there sets the whole story up. It’s unexpected and comes with a pregnancy that catches Don off guard.
And off we go.
I really liked the way Don navigated the path that is having a pregnant wife. It was clinical and precise. He approached it in a way that made sense to a reader, but could also see why his actions are perceived in a way that makes him seem indifferent and cold. You could see the way that he saw it affecting Rosie, especially in the middle of the novel when the shit just started to hit the fan and that sort of extreme self awareness (yet whilst also remaining unaware) is what makes Don so endearing and great as a character.
He’s flawed. He’s openly flawed. He is always trying to improve himself to make himself ‘better’ or more ‘normal. He’s trying his best and Simsion writes that aspect of Don so clearly. And it’s heartbreaking at times, and it’s also uplifting. It’s a rollercoaster basically.
And it also seems like a comedy of errors. Some of the events in this book, like the playground incident and his attitude with the research project he ended up getting involved in, you could kind of see how the events were going to unfold. It made me want to shout ‘nooooooo’ at him but obviously they were there for a reason. The events made Don reevaluate and reassess and move forward and eventually prove himself I guess. I loved reading that character arc, that I already enjoyed seeing unfold in the first book, expand and move further forward. I love watching this character grow. I love this character. He’s unlike most characters that I encounter in most of the novels that I read and he stays with me for long after I have closed the pages on his story.
Another thing that I enjoyed the development of in this book was the inclusion of Don’s social group. How they helped him and each other. How they accepted him in a world that doesn’t necessarily always do that. I liked the side that these friends brought out in Don, it added a new element to the character that didn’t really exist in the first book.
Rosie is a great character too. One because in a lot of ways she is the total anti-thesis of Don and two because she’s just great. Even though you only get a somewhat limited perception of her through Don’s eyes she is great. She is independent, maybe to a fault, and it’s great to see her character arc move throughout the book. At points it felt like I could see elements of myself in Rosie in a way that I didn’t in the first book. She developed in a way that I didn’t necessarily expect because Don is the eyes into the story, so that was a pleasant surprise.
A few things I didn’t like: Like I said at points some things were a little predictable for me and I could see how they were going to go. However the response to the predictable events didn’t go the way that I thought, so that kept it fresh. Also, and this is probably just me and the fact that at times I was reading this book when I was tired and annoyed at people because rush hour brings the worst out of human kind, I felt like it was a bit long. It wasn’t repetitive at all or anything and I didn’t feel like I was reading in circles or anything, but I also felt like it could’ve wrapped up a bit sooner…? I don’t know that seems kind of a harsh thing to say about a book I ultimately really enjoyed but it’s how I felt at times.
Overall however I loved returning back to Don Tillman and his view on the world and the way he navigates all of this. I loved the way Simsion writes and I could never get bored of reading his writing style. I especially really loved the meaning behind their baby’s name in the end. And I’m super greedy and want to have another story as Don deals with actual fatherhood this time, because that could be great.
Parentheses count: 4. See you at the weekend!
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