The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion

 

cover154110-mediumPublisher: Penguin

Publishing Date: 4th April 2019

Series: The Rosie Project #3

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 384

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 09.01.2020)

 

Synopsis:

The Rosie Result is the triumphant final instalment of the internationally bestselling series that began with The Rosie Project.

——

‘The phone call signalling an escalation in the Hudson Adjustment Problem came at 10:18 a.m. on a Friday morning . . .’

Meet Don Tillman, the genetics professor with a scientific approach to everything. But he’s facing a set of human dilemmas tougher than the trickiest of equations.

Right now he is in professional hot water after a lecture goes viral; his wife of 4,380 days, Rosie, is about to lose the research job she loves; and – the most serious problem of all – their eleven-year-old son, Hudson, is struggling at school. He’s a smart kid, but socially awkward-not fitting in.

Fortunately, Don’s had a lifetime’s experience of not fitting in. And he’s going to share the solutions with Hudson. He’ll need the help of old friends and new, lock horns with the education system, and face some big questions about himself. As well as opening the world’s best cocktail bar.

Big-hearted, hilarious and exuberantly life-affirming, The Rosie Result is a story of overcoming life’s obstacles with a little love and a lot of overthinking.

Rating: five-stars

 

In “The Rosie Result” the Tillman family has moved back to Australia as a result of Rosie getting a new job, leading a research project. Don takes a position as a genetics professor at the university, their son Hudson is already 11 years old. However, one meeting with the school principal after another and it quickly turns out Hudson has a hard time settling in. Following a kerfuffle at the university, Don decides to take time out and hence “Hudson Project” is born – a project aimed at helping Hudson to develop life skills that will make him fit better in the society and make friends. This all, of course, in typical, analytical Don’s style.

As much as I’d love to see a little bit more of Rosie in this book, Don has probably compensated it. I love his methodical and logical approach to everything and the fact that words “not possible” don’t exist in his vocabulary. I’ve never supposed he’d be such an involved father but he went into “Project Hudson” with all of his heart. “Project Hudson” involved among others helping him making friends or increasing his competences. The way he goes about things is so heart – warming and uplifting. He’s still very direct, literal and single – minded but that’s Don for you, and he’s also incredibly kind. I think I have a weakness for Don Tillman.

I adore Rosie and Don’s relationship. Rosie is so laid – back and always guides Don when he struggles. They are open and incredibly honest with each other and it’s such a refreshing change to have characters who can talk with each other about literally everything. They complement each other brilliantly. And their unity in all things Hudson was simply exemplary and enviable – when we argue with my husband it’s usually about our different ways of raising our daughter.

I totally appreciate the fact that the author didn’t choose the most straightforward ways for his characters. Being diagnosed with autism doesn’t only mean that you can have excuse for certain behaviour, it often means being labelled, stereotyped, people making assumptions, and he let his characters to made the decision for themselves. He showed different views when it comes to Autism and the scene of the discussion that Don and Rosie attended was incredibly interesting and eye – opening as well. The story gives us plenty thought for food, showing benefits of some treatments and also, what I liked most, focusing on the abilities rather than weaknesses of the children being “on the spectrum”, showing their individuality and specialty.

Graeme Simsion writes about some serious issues but with a light touch and in entertaining way. His writing style is exceptional – it’s witty, it’s clever, the banter between the characters is fast and intelligent and he so brilliantly captures the eccentric personalities.

“The Rosie Result” was quirky and charming, brilliantly balancing heavier issues with humour, uplifting and thought – provoking. It didn’t touch only upon Autism, but also the issue of working mothers and belittling them at their workplaces, or at least treating them differently, racism and sexism, bullying, violence – and while they really sound important and rather heavy, the author knows how to write in a light, entertaining way and still leave us thinking. This book was an excellent conclusion to the series, series that I’m truly going to miss. However, I’m left with a feeling that everything is going to be okay with Don, Rosie and Hudson. Highly recommended!

 

 

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Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion & Anne Buist

Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion & Anne Buist

 

38402331Publisher: Two Roads

Publishing Date: 5th April 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 4368

Genre: General Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Zoe, a sometime artist, is from California. Martin, an engineer, is from Yorkshire. Both have ended up in picturesque Cluny, in central France. Both are struggling to come to terms with their recent past—for Zoe, the death of her husband; for Martin, a messy divorce. Looking to make a new start, each sets out alone to walk two thousand kilometres from Cluny to Santiago, in northwestern Spain, in the footsteps of pilgrims who have walked the Camino—the Way—for centuries.

The Camino changes you, it’s said. It’s a chance to find a new version of yourself. But can these two very different people find each other?

In this smart, funny and romantic journey, Martin’s and Zoe’s stories are told in alternating chapters by husband-and-wife team Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist. Two Steps Forward is a novel about renewal—physical, psychological and spiritual. It’s about the challenge of walking a long distance and of working out where you are going. And it’s about what you decide to keep, what you choose to leave behind and what you rediscover.

Rating: four-stars

When I started reading this book I was a little surprised because, to be honest, I knew it’s going to be about walking, but I haven’t supposed that it’s going to be that much about walking. There were really moments that I felt frustrated and the story felt very slow as it mostly focused on the way, on counting the kilometres, on spotting the right sign and I really thought for a moment that maybe Graeme Simsion has turned into non – fiction. But deep, deep under all the descriptions of the places, finding accommodation and what to have for dinner and being on the road, there is a lovely, poignant and moving love story that I incredibly adored.

I think I liked Zoe’s parts better. Zoe herself was quirkier and cheekier than Martin, and full of life, and the chapters told from her point of view just read better. She’s recently widowed and she hasn’t grieved her husband fully yet. His sudden and unexpected death has brought some surprises. She’s also an aspiring artist but what with life getting in the way her career was aborted. Dr Martin Eden has just divorced, taken a temporary teaching position in Cluny and after a chance encounter with a Dutch pilgrim he’s designed a pilgrim cart that he’s going to test himself, hoping to sell the design. So some hikers are on the spiritual journey and some are avoiding it but all of them learn on the way what real love and friendship is.

This book starts slowly and continues rather slowly but it has plenty of brilliant moments and characters, and in the end I found myself incredibly attached to the two main characters. It also introduces us to many background characters and while mostly they accompany Zoe and Martin on their way, they appear and disappear, come and go, and almost till the end I had problems to know who is who and to whom they belong. Sure, they all have their own stories – they wouldn’t walk the Camino otherwise, and they were mostly engaging, but next to the whole walking and the plots of Zoe and Martin there were moments that it was just too much to take.

The banter between the characters was great and it livened up the story so very much. There are tons of misunderstandings and miscommunications, jumping to conclusions and secrets and it all flow so effortlessly and seems so natural. As the story is told through Zoe and Martin’s perspectives it’s really easy to keep pace with their distinctive voices and to know where they’re actually are and what they’re thinking.

The “spiritual aspect” of this journey is very well handled. The authors give their characters a choice. They show that being a pilgrim is not always only about religion, that there are many different and equally important reasons to start such journey. The authors’ experience with this way of pilgrimage is evident, and at the end of the book they did admit that they themselves walked the Camino twice, and it’s visible through their vivid descriptions and their love to the details, the descriptions of the many villages and places of accommodation.

Altogether “Two Steps Forward” was a brilliant, uplifting and warm read about life – changing experience, about finding your own way, and also about kindness. There is plenty of humour and the characters’ problems are very down – to – earth, which makes the reading even more relatable. It shows that sometimes it’s better to look at your problems through a different perspective, that sometimes it’s great to trust total strangers. Highly recommended!