Raising a preteen turns Don Tillman’s whole life around in this finale to the well-loved Rosie Trilogy (The Rosie Effect, 2014, etc.).
Time has passed since readers last saw the Tillman family. Don, Rosie, and Hudson have packed up and moved back to Australia after Rosie was offered a dream job. Hudson, who has the same analytical mind as his father, is unhappy about leaving New York and has trouble fitting in at his new school. Don, back in his position at the university, is also in trouble after a class exercise goes viral for all the wrong reasons. At a turning point, Don decides to leave his job and devote himself to one thing: The Hudson Project. As Don finds himself wrapped up in many different issues, from developing a cocktail bar to dealing with school and other parents to his relationship with his own father, he discovers that maybe things aren’t as bad as he feared. Having an 11-year time jump between the last book and this one is a risky choice by Simsion (Two Steps Forward, 2018, etc.); on the one hand, it lets him explore Don's life as a father, but on the other, there are strange moments when Don encounters people he hasn’t spoken to in more than a decade who remember their last conversation instantaneously. All of Don and Rosie's memorable friends make reappearances, and there are some new acquaintances who push the couple to explore their parenting choices. This book has a much heavier focus on autism than the previous two, with Don and Rosie struggling over whether to have Hudson tested, and also some darker themes. It’s still very much a charmer, however, with everything coming to a proper close.
A fitting end to this delightful trilogy that doesn’t pull punches.