I was in the mood for a really good, funny romance this week and “The Rosie Project” didn’t let me down. Graeme Simsion delivers a humorous and insightful story about a man searching for a wife and accidentally falling in love along the way.
Don Tillman is a 39-year-old professor of genetics at a university in Melbourne. He is super smart, stays in shape and has a good job. But he is also inflexible, overly ruled by logic and incredibly socially awkward. He likely has Asperger Syndrome but doesn’t realize it. He hasn’t had any luck with women primarily due to his lack of social skills. In fact, some of his previous dating attempts are told in hilarious detail.
When Don decides it’s time to find a wife, he approaches it with the same academic rigor that rules the rest of his life. He creates a detailed questionnaire designed to filter out smokers, vegetarians, women who are habitually late, etc. Although he has a surprising number of women complete the survey, not so surprising is that none of them achieve a perfect score, which is Don’s standard.
In the middle of the Wife Project, Rosie enters Don’s life. She wants to find her biological father and Don offers his genetics skills to help with her search. Suddenly his carefully regimented life is upended. She helps him become more spontaneous, have some fun and feel a new emotion that, even with his sharp mind, he can’t identify. Too bad Rosie is a vegetarian who smokes and is habitually late. Don has already eliminated her as a potential partner.
But as they continue to interact, Don slowly comes to the realization that his scientific approach to spousal selection may be seriously flawed. But is it too late?
I really enjoyed this book. It’s told in Don’s first person voice. The Aspergers is treated respectfully but the unique perspective it gives Don about society provides a lot of chuckles. As Don becomes more open to new experiences, his amazed reaction to them is both refreshing and endearing. He’s a man who’s suddenly excited by life and, once he figures it out, love. He’ll have you rooting for him.
Funny, heartfelt, original and insightful – there’s so much to like about “The Rosie Project”. Thanks, Dana, for the recommendation!
If you’ve read “The Rosie Project”, please share your thoughts. Or if you’ve read any good romances recently I’d love some recommendations.