Nothing in my life has made me feel older than taking my daughter for her driver’s permit this morning. It’s not just a rite of passage for every American teenager, but one for every parent as well. It’s that moment when you can no longer deny that that the crest of the hill of hands-on parenting is far behind you, and that your little hatchling is now one giant, lurching, curb-hitting, gray hair-inducing leap closer to leaving the nest.
Truth be told, I think I was every bit as nervous and excited as she was. I knew she could do it, that she’d do a great job, but it doesn’t change the fact that somehow it felt like not only a test of her road knowledge, but also a test of my parenting thus far. Have I taught her everything she needs? Is she ready for this? What should I do, not if she fails, but if I’ve failed her?
Life as a parent is full of these moments: first words, first steps, first dates, first broken heart. Like people always say, there is no manual, so you just do your best, fumbling along and trying to guide your child safely to, through and beyond. You say what you hope is the right thing, make what you hope are the right decisions and pray that somehow it’s enough. That journey is really what’s at the heart of The Rosie Effect, the touching follow-up to Graeme Simsion’s international best-seller, The Rosie Project.
Genetics professor Don and PhD candidate Rosie are living in New York and settling into married life. In short order, Rosie gives Don some news that was not on the schedule: they are going to have a baby. Don has Asperger’s, so the lens that he sees this through and the actions he chooses to take throughout the pregnancy are vastly different from Rosie’s and from what Rosie hopes to see from Don. Faced with a lifetime of these differences, and the significant challenges they present, Rosie begins to wonder what truly will be the best for their baby.
This book lacked the charm of the original volume, but was a touching story in its own right. As in the last book, I really cheered for Don, hoping he would figure things out sooner rather than later. There were moments of frustration with Don, though, and characters that definitely rubbed me the wrong way; neither of these were things I experienced with The Rosie Project. I’m curious if Simsion has another installment in the works. I think I’d read it just to see if he’s able to overcome the slight lag that was present in The Rosie Effect and recapture the magic of its precursor.
It was really hard for me to read these two without comparing them. If you’ve read them, what did you think? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Until then, happy reading!
Little Book Reviews