Saturday, September 12, 2015

REVIEW: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion


An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.

Hardcover, 295 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Simon & Schuster
ISBN 1476729085 (ISBN13: 9781476729084)

About the Author

Graeme Simsion is a former IT consultant and the author of two nonfiction books on database design who decided, at the age of fifty, to turn his hand to fiction. His first novel, The Rosie Project, was published in 2013 and translation rights have been sold in over thirty-five languages. Graeme lives in Australia with his wife, Anne, and their two children. 

My Thoughts
I may have found a solution to the Wife Problem.
Don works in Genetics, and he has some form of Asperger's.
"Fault! Asperger's isn't a fault. It's a variant. It's potentially a major advantage. Asperger's syndrome is associated with organization, focus, innovative thinking, and rational detachment."
Being someone who is adept at organizing data and making logical decisions, he has begun what he calls the Wife Project. He has made the determination that he needs a wife, but is having difficulty finding one suitable. In his case, "suitable" means finding a woman that can score high on Don's questionnaire, which is designed to help him filter out women who are unsuitable wife material, such as women concerned with their appearance, those who are late for appointments, who smoke, or who like the wrong flavor of ice cream.

Don's best friend is Gene, a psychology professor who spends his time trying to sleep with exotic women from around the world, supposedly with the consent of his wife Claudia. Then one day Don meets Rosie, who is on a mission of her own. She is trying to find her father, but she has very little to go on. She and Don team up for the Father Project, as he assists her in her endeavors.

This book was a book club selection, and one of the women in my book club has an adult son with Asperger's. So she could really identify with this book, and said that the depiction of Don was done very well.

I really liked Don. He knew he was different, he knew his condition makes him a little "weird" to others, and that his behavior is sometimes considered rude or inappropriate. He tries to conform when necessary, but sometimes falls short. He tries-- he really does! And Rosie is her own woman. She's offbeat, marches to the beat of her own drum, and she takes no guff from anyone!

My final word: I enjoyed this story, which I believe has been optioned for a movie. It's quirky, and at times is even slapstick humor. I liked the characters. The story could be a little preposterous at times, but that lent well to the "slapstick" feel of the story. Overall this was a fun and fast read.

My Rating: 

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