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The Rosie Effect Summary & Study Guide

Graeme Simsion
This Study Guide consists of approximately 74 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Rosie Effect.
This section contains 825 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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The Rosie Effect Summary & Study Guide Description

The Rosie Effect Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion.

Happily married to the woman of his dreams, scientifically minded Don Tillman accepted, albeit hesitantly, the next step in their relationship: Fatherhood. In the novel “The Rosie Effect” by Graeme Simsion Don struggled to come to terms with fatherhood and his role as the husband of a pregnant wife. Being a logical thinker and not particularly socially adept, Don got himself into a variety of messes with both his wife and members of the law. He was arrested for videotaping kids at a playground and then was tagged as a terrorist when he attempted to join Rosie on her flight to Australia because he hoped to keep her from leaving him. Themes in the novel include relationships, parenting, secrets, problem solving methods and the social stigma put on people who are different.

When Don was first told by Rosie that he was going to be a father he ran from her instead of letting her witness him have a meltdown. He struggled with a way to tell Rosie he was happy about the baby without lying to her. He was also stressed because he’d told his friend Gene, whom Rosie hated, that he could stay with them since his wife had kicked him out. Rosie had already laid down some ground rules for her pregnancy. First, Don was to keep her from getting stressed and second, she didn’t want any technical discussions of her pregnancy.

Don solved one of his problems quickly by arranging for he, Rosie and Gene to live in an apartment owned by George. George had purchased a three-bedroom apartment below his with plans to use only one of the bedrooms as a beer cooler. He also hired Don to monitor the cooler to make sure it was cooling properly. In the arrangement he set up, Rosie and Don got to live in the apartment rent free. Don used one of the bathrooms in the new apartment as his office. He used the tiles to keep up with his baby’s development in vitro, allowing him to keep up with its development but not bother Rosie with the technical aspects of the pregnancy.

Don’s next order of business was to prove to himself he would be a good father. He’d suffered a blow when a stranger had told him to do the world a favor and not have any children after she’d interacted with him only a short while. Don’s personality, which kept him from forming emotional bonds easily and caused him to be socially inept, was often interpreted negatively by others. Gene suggested Don visit a playground to watch children play. Because he was videotaping the children and because he didn’t have a child playing, Don caught the attention of the police. Because the officers interpreted his move to keep them from touching him as being threatening, he was arrested. This began his problems.

Although the officers didn’t think that Don was a danger he had to refer him to a psychiatric clinic for evaluation. His appointment was going well until Don’s friend Lydia took over his case. She insisted he bring Rosie to see her. Knowing he had been ordered by Rosie not to stress her, Don decided not to tell her about the arrest. He employed a friend’s wife to impersonate Rosie.

Meanwhile, Rosie was becoming more and more frustrated with Don’s insecurity about being a father and his attempts to help her with her pregnancy. Rosie also began struggling with her own doubts about Don’s ability to be a father as well as her own insecurities associated with raising a child. Rosie finally made the decision to leave Don and go back to Australia to have her baby where she would raise it by herself. In a last ditch effort to save his marriage, Don bought a ticket so he could join Rosie on her flight. Because he took no bags with him, Don was tagged as a potential terrorist. The plane on which he and Rosie were riding was turned around because it was suspected Don might have put a bomb in Rosie’s bags.

Back in New York, Rosie had the opportunity to go with Don to a party hosted by Don’s department at Columbia. Among the videos shown during the presentation was one of Don allowing a baby to play on him during a research project. Rosie realized there was a side to Don that she’d never seen before. Back at the apartment friends gathered for an impromptu celebration of how much Don had helped them despite his social ineptitude. While watching the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” with the group, Don could only think about how big of a hole Rosie was going to leave in his life. Before the end of the evening, Rosie explained to him that she had decided not to leave.

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