The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
My main niche for reading tends to be fantasy/YA novels. I am usually leery of “award winning” novels and suspect top charts when it comes to books. Many award and prize winning books are like critically acclaimed , obscure award films. Artistic , thought-provoking, stunning masterpieces; all synonyms for long, drawn out and boring. The Rosie Project was chosen as our December read in my book club as something more upbeat and funny compared to previous reads. After only a handful of pages, the laughs began.
The art of love is never a science: Meet Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially inept professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.
Rosie Jarman possesses all these qualities. Don easily disqualifies her as a candidate for The Wife Project (even if she is “quite intelligent for a barmaid”). But Don is intrigued by Rosie’s own quest to identify her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on The Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie―and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you. 1
Don Tillman is an exceptionally intelligent man, but he is also extremely socially awkward. Because of his unique personality and the way he interacts with others the book is filled with many laugh out loud moments.
It is implied that Don may have a form of Asperger’s, which after some research I can detect the similarities; however, while reading the book, I did not view Don as someone suffering from any syndrome. Instead I simply viewed him as someone with a unique personality. Of course I am not an expert nor have I ever met anyone with such a syndrome.
Rosie seems like any ordinary person, but as the story progresses we get a deeper look at her issues. Despite going to school for psychology she seems to have many issues and rather odd ways of coping with them. She has an addictive personality and she believes she knows the reasonings to her issues but seems to make no effort in correcting them in any positive manner. She actually had the most problems out of anyone in the book, including Don.
Although Don is viewed as the main character with the most obvious issues, I found myself loving Don and questioning Rosie. Even in the end I have my lingering doubts and questions towards the way things turned out. Perhaps they will be answered in The Rosie Effect, Simsion’s sequel to The Rosie Project.
The Rosie Project popped up from time to time catching my attention, but I doubt I would have ever pursued it on my own. Don’s character and what are seen as negative personality traits were highly enjoyable and loveable. I did not view them as negatives, but rather positive and unique. The Rosie Project is a fun, laugh out loud type of book which I think many people would enjoy and I look forward to see what The Rosie Effect has in store for us.
1. Summary courtesy of Simon and Schuster Rosie a Project page