THE ROSIE RESULT by Graeme Simsion
Published by The Text Publishing Company
REVIEWED BY KRIS WILLIAMS
Fans of the Rosie Project will not be disappointed in this, the last book of the trilogy. Don, Rosie and their son Hudson are back in Australia after living in New York for ten years. Rosie has a new job heading up a research project and Don is a genetics professor at the University. All seems well but “the life-contentment graph, recently at its highest point, is curving downwards.”
Their son Hudson doesn’t like change and moving from New York to Australia is a big change. Like Don he is smart, quirky, loves maths, but is not fitting in well at school. He has no friends his own age. He is unhappy. Don finds himself remembering what his life was like as an eleven-year-old and is worried that Hudson could be just like him – not able to fit in socially, depressed and alone.
Rosie and Don are called the Principal’s office several times to address Hudson’s behaviour. This doesn’t help the ‘life-contentment graph’ very much. Particularly when the school suggests that Hudson may be autistic and should be professionally diagnosed.
Rosie is having difficulty at work with a sexist boss who believes she can’t be a mother and head up a research project and after an incident at his work, Don quits his job so Rosie can work full time. This will give him time to learn to be a good parent and help Hudson navigate the world. He decides the best way to do this is to come up with a plan to help Hudson develop life skills that will help him fit in better and make friends.
In the middle of all this Don and Rosie decide to open the world’s best cocktail bar.
Don calls on friends old and new to help him put the Hudson Project into effect - “we should restrict the discussion to the facts first. Table the evidence, then consider our options. Understand the problem, explore solutions.” There is much trial and error and realisation on Don’s part that he could also be on the autistic spectrum.
What follows raises topics such as the inflexibility of the school system, misunderstandings and stereotypes, bullying, medication, vaccination, and the pros and cons of having a label. Simsion ‘deftly weaves his way between issues such as should a child be labelled as having autism, is medication the answer, should the individual with autism be made to "fit in" or should society accept them as they are.
This book is funny, witty, and thought provoking. All trademarks of the three books in the series. It was such a pleasure to meet Don and Rosie again.