First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes…a baby that Don Tillman, lovable genius, has certainly not factored into his current life plan.
The Aussie genetics professor who warmed hearts in The Rosie Project (2013) succeeded in snatching “The World’s Most Beautiful Woman.” But pragmatic Don thinks his situation might be too good to last forever. He’s right. Enter Bud: Baby Under Development. After 10 blissful months of marriage, Rosie announces she’s pregnant, uprooting the carefully balanced life they’ve created in New York. Complicating matters is a secret Don’s keeping from Rosie: A lunch with friends turned disastrous when a new acquaintance, a social worker, diagnosed Don as unfit for fatherhood. This puts Don under a lot of stress, which he tries to combat by learning as much as he can about fetal development. He’s as lovably frustrating as ever, handling this unexpected situation with utmost practicality. Rosie, though, is having none of it. She’s Don’s emotional opposite, dismissing Don’s suggestions and turning fonder of the f-word by the minute. After creating such a successful offbeat relationship in his first book, author Simsion chooses to dismantle it, leaving the quirky lovebirds unable to communicate. Really, it’s Rosie’s fault. She’s become entirely unlikable, failing to see that underneath Don’s unconventional methods is a man who cares. Instead, she finds him “embarrassing,” and it’s heartbreaking. The impending failure of their relationship feels sudden, most likely due to the book’s many side stories: Gene, Don’s best friend, is in New York after the breakup of his marriage. George, a rock star who lives upstairs, has issues of his own, as does a fellow pregnant couple with financial troubles. While Don tries to solve all these problems—exercising his winning analytic voice—his marriage is fading into the background, as is readers’ support of the Don-Rosie combo. Simsion tries to swiftly mend what’s been broken, but the happily-ever-after is lacking confidence.
Don prides himself on meticulous consideration of all scenarios; not even he could’ve imagined that the sparkle of his love story wouldn’t last.