Chicklit Club
 

GRAEME SIMSION

 

Two Steps Forward (2018)

 
with Anne Buist
 

After the sudden death of her husband, Zoe leaves California to visit a friend in France. She decides to embark on a journey of self-discovery by walking from Cluny to Santiago de Compostela, in northwestern Spain.
English engineer Martin is recently divorced and is struggling with the separation from his teenage daughter. Martin is walking the Camino, too, and that’s where he and Zoe meet. Making a journey that thousands of people do every year and meeting a cast of colourful people from different countries, Martin and Zoe have a difficult start, but soon the two form a close friendship and maybe something more, sharing not only confidences but also hotel bathrooms and food.
I have been a fan of Graeme Simsion since I first read his novel The Rosie Project and, since then, I read all his novels. I love his fluent and clear writing style and he creates funny, engaging, and realistic characters. He wrote this novel together with his wife and, even though it has a bit of a more serious tone than The Rosie Project novels, this is still a captivating, entertaining, and compelling novel. (NP) 7/10


 

The Best Of Adam Sharp (2017)

 

Forty-nine-year-old Adam Sharp works as a freelance IT consultant and leads a normal and tranquil life with his partner of 20 years, Claire. Everything changes when he receives an email from Angelina, the one who got away. Adam met Angelina in a bar in Melbourne - he was playing the piano and she joined him requesting songs and singing along. Their brief and intense affair left Adam heartbroken and now that she is back in touch he wonders: what if he had stayed? What his life would be like if he hadn’t walked away?
A story about regrets, lost love, and a past that resurfaces when you least expect it, I found myself laughing and crying at Adam’s moving story. This novel includes an amazing playlist of songs that creates the perfect soundtrack for this brilliant and intense love story. (NP) 8/10


 

The Rosie Effect (2014)

 

If the Wife Project wasn't complicated enough for Don Tillman, he's about to face his toughest test yet - he's going to be a father. Don's experience with babies is zero so he does what any expectant father should do and studies up. Except, of course, he doesn't stop at books and tutorials, he seeks practical, real-life experience and inevitably gets himself in a spot (or two) of bother. And whilst he goes all out to gain the necessary skills and knowledge, doubts creep in that maybe he's not up to the task.
Opening up this second book, the sequel to The Rosie Project, and once again being transported into Don's world and mindset is like meeting up with an old friend you've missed. From the first sentence, Simsion immediately brings Don back to life and settles the reader in for another unique episode. As with its prequel, the novel is fun, entertaining, with some truly memorable anecdotes, but more so than the last book, this one is serious and moving.
Whilst Don may struggle with empathy, readers certainly will not. At times, my heart ached for Don, and I must admit I found it difficult to connect with Rosie and her treatment of Don. I had expected to see more of the milestones in the pregnancy, but with Don pursuing his own methods of preparation for fatherhood these are somewhat bypassed. Though I guess if there's one thing to expect with Don Tillman, it's the unexpected. With the birth of Don and Rosie's child taking place in the very last chapter, there's plenty left for Simsion to pursue in a follow-up and I've got my fingers firmly crossed that we'll soon have the privilege of Don's company again. (JC) 8/10


 

The Rosie Project (2013)

 

Don is a ridiculously clever genetics professor who is looking for a wife. After the Apricot Ice Cream incident, he decides he is bored of wasting his time dating unsuitable women. In comes The Wife Project, a questionnaire designed to filter out all of the bad matches and leave Don to date the compatible women only. He thinks this is the perfect way to find his life partner. Then suddenly, Rosie bursts into Don's life, changing his plans. She is a smoker, always late and totally unsuitable for Don. However he finds himself attracted to Rosie and they go on a journey together working on The Father Project and soon Don realises that maybe he can love someone who is not compatible for him.
From start to finish of this most fantastic book, you will be laughing out loud and wishing you knew Don personally. Probably the best book this year so far. (LL) 10/10


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