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Book DetailsISBN: 9781925773477
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Book Review: The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion - Reviewed by CloggieA (02 Jan 2019)
5 stars The Rosie Result is the third book in the Don Tillman trilogy by best-selling Australian author and playwright, Graeme Simsion. But for job applications and performance reviews, life is virtually perfect for Don, Rosie and young Hudson in New York. A mere eight months later, a job-related return to Melbourne has unsettled Hudson, now eleven, and Don rates this the most severe of the five problems that he has identified as affecting his overall contentment. It needs some drastic action, and Don has learned from experience to present the solution to Rosie before implementing it, but Rosie has always considered problem-solving as one of Don’s strengths.
“I said when I married you that I was expecting constant craziness, so I'd be letting us both down if I said no. We're a professor of genetics and a mental health researcher and we're going to open a cocktail bar and fly in a refrigeration engineer from New York. Of course we are.” And surprisingly, this is a big stride towards the solution of all five problems but, of course, nothing is simple.
As Don learns how to be the father of a very individual pre-teen boy, he soon realises that his own expertise in growing up different will not suffice, and he will have to outsource The Hudson Project: he calls on his friends (all six of them!) and they willingly contribute, proving the truth of the adage “it takes a village to raise a child”. Hudson learns that the world, unfortunately, requires those who are different to conform, but does it have to be that way?
While Don provides the reader with plenty of humour, Simsion also uses events, and the family’s reaction to them, to explore the myriad of issues surrounding autism, many of which might be applicable to other conditions or life preferences. He has unqualified observers giving their “expert” opinion; an autism activist taking issue with accepted terminology; friends on the spectrum warning of the potential adverse effects of a diagnosis (for Hudson), even as Don is advised by neurotypical to himself get a diagnosis to use in his defence; the debate on treatment autonomy is also touched on. From page one, Don is in fine voice and the snickers, giggles and laugh-out-loud moments that his statements are likely to frequently cause will mean it would be prudent not to read this novel in the quiet carriage on public transport. Rosie, too, is in excellent form, proving herself a capable mother to a surprisingly mature son, and the sexism that she encounters daily from her boss is cleverly dealt with.
While this third installment could stand alone, there are many references to characters and events from the first two novels, so readers new to Don and Rosie ought to begin their enjoyment with The Rosie Project. Hugely entertaining but also thought-provoking: a wonderful read.
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