After reading the first book, I was excited to dive into The Rosie Effect. While it wasn’t as amazing as The Rosie Project, the second book was not a disappointment.
Don is back with more craziness now that he and Rosie are married and surprise- expecting a baby! As he struggles to understand marriage and fatherhood, a web of lies is created and Don finds himself in danger of prosecution, deportation, professional disgrace, and divorce. Unfortunately, I lost my love for Rosie in this novel, but themes I enjoyed the most from this book were lies and “bros”.
But I had concluded that being myself, with all my intrinsic flaws, was more important than having the thing I wanted most.
Webs of Lies
Dishonesty was part of the price of being a social animal, and of marriage in particular.
To avoid giving Rosie stress, Don ends up lying about many events like being suspected of a pedo, social worker meetings, research, and all the other things he attempts in efforts to prepare himself for fatherhood. The theme of lies is evident in this novel and is a leading factor in all of the conflicts that happen to the 4 male characters: Don, Gene, Dave, and George (the “bros”). Don lies to Rosie about his activities and he finds out that Rosie has been lying to him, causing miscommunication. Gene’s lies about his sexual promiscuity are what end his marriage with Claudia. Dave’s marriage with his wife suffers because of his lies related to work. George also lies to himself about his conflict with his “druggy” son, making him regretful after all these years.
Don’s lies create funny plot twists but it is obvious that one of the lessons from this novel is about the complications lies make. It’s not a very subtle theme, but I still enjoyed how straightforward Don is able to untangle his own web of lies and the webs of others. Don is a character who seems to be capable of solving issues of lies, but for the average person, it can be hard to clear up misunderstandings without damaging any relationships. As we can see with Don, it is very easy for one lie to snowball into a huge mess.
Rosie and I were there on the night that Don decided that the most important thing in his life could wait while he looked after someone else.
Friendship is another deep theme in this book. Don finally finds himself a regular group of “bros” to hang out, drink beer, and discuss problems with. In fact, I think this book features more of Gene, Dave, and George than Rosie.
Although Don is supposed to be the socially inadequate one, he treasures his friendships. Throughout the book, Don helps each of his friends through their biggest struggle without even knowing. Many times, he even puts his own issues second and prioritizes his friend’s problem. At the end when Don’s own marriage is about to break, his bros come back to help him patch it up.
I believe in the deep bonds of friendship and it’s true that with everything and everyone, you get what you put in (unless the person is an asshole). I especially believe men have a special loyalty towards their “bros” and the events in this book definitely speak to this notion.
Again, Rosie didn’t appear too much in the book and I actually found her annoying, but the reality is that she was dealing with a lot of her own issues related to pregnancy and getting her PhD. Her absence was filled with a warming story of friendship instead, which added onto Don’s ever fulfilling life.