Title: The Rosie Project
Author: Graeme Simsion
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Opening lines: “…I may have found a solution to the Wife Problem…”
Blurb: Don Tillman is getting married. He just doesn’t know who to yet. But he has designed the Wife Project, using a sixteen-page questionnaire to help him find the perfect partner. She will most definitely not be a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver. Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also fiery and intelligent and beautiful. And on a quest of her own to find her biological father – a search that Don, a professor of genetics, might just be able to help her with. The Wife Project teaches Don some unexpected things. Why earlobe length is an inadequate predictor of sexual attraction. Why quick-dry clothes aren’t appropriate attire in New York. Why he’s never been on a second date. And why, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love: love finds you.
My Thoughts: I have read a few excellent books this year, you know the ones – just can’t put them down – but so far THE ROSIE PROJECT is top of the pile. It is an outstanding book, so compelling that I challenge you to read it and not be hooked. It is poignant, humourous and not to be missed. So why am I raving over it? Because it is good!
The hero is Don a super intelligent man who doesn’t realise he has Asperger’s. Is this possible? Of course it is. Don knows he is different to other people, that he is often considered weird by some, but human behaviour baffles him. His friends recognise the symptoms and try to prompt him to realization:
Claudia asked whether I had enjoyed the Asperger’s Lecture. She was under the impression that Gene had delivered the lecture and I had merely attended. I corrected her mistake and told her I had found the subject fascinating. “Did the symptoms remind you of anyone?” she asked.
However Don doesn’t pick up on the hints and decides to find a wife. Enter Rosie, who is the complete opposite to Don in every way utterly spontaneous, dresses to please herself and tough. Rosie also thinks that the man who her mother was married to isn’t really her father, and that her mother slept with a man at her graduation ball and one of those men is her father. Only she doesn’t know who the man is. Don offers to DNA test all the father suspects which turns out to be well over 100 – how they pursue this goal of collecting DNA samples is hilarious. As they spend time together Rosie encourages Don to be spontaneous, hard for someone who doesn’t even recognise that he has upset someone.
“…’But I’m not good at understanding what other people want.’ ‘Tell me something I don’t know,’ said Rosie for no obvious reason. I quickly searched my mind for an interesting fact. ‘Ahhh…The testicles of drone bees and wasp spiders explode during sex.’…”
THE ROSIE PROJECT is unique in that it is one of the only romances that I have read told from the point of a male. It also gives a convincing insight into what it’s like to be someone with Asperger’s and how others perceive him. His intensely logical thought processes just don’t make sense to some of the people he mixes with. However those who are close to him see his heart of gold and the genuine bewilderment at people’s reactions and guide him into what he should do to make amends. There is a lot of progress with Don’s character from the start of the book to the end. At the start he is stuck in his safe and predictable rut where he over-analyses everything, worries about making changes and then embraces the change and ends up recognising that he is in love. Seeing that THE ROSIE PROJECT is a romance, and allowing that opposites attract, the ending is satisfactorily predictable and the back story threads were all tied off neatly as well. Author Graeme Simsion is currently working on a sequel to The Rosie Project which is due for release in Australia sometime in 2014. I for one will be doing everything in my power to get my hands on that sequel.
Rating: A – Excellent Stuff – a real page turner and hard to put down. I carved out extra reading time just so I could finish it. This book got carted into the bathroom with me, read over meals, read at work, and/or kept me up late at night. If this author has more work, I will certainly read it.
For more about the author – Click Here
With thanks to Simon & Schuster and the author via Netgalley.