Book 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.

The Rosie Project Graeme Simsion

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.

I’ve seen a lot about The Rosie Project, but had never got round to reading it. When I saw The Rosie Effect was available on NetGalley, I swiftly requested it and immediately bought The Rosie Project in preparation. I’m so pleased I did.

The Rosie Project is a beautiful and heart-warming love story of over-coming challenges and self-discovery.

Don is a play-it-by-the-rules kind of guy, in every sense of the phrase. He lives every moment of his life by a strict schedule, which is re-calculated if altered by even the smallest disruption. While he is an abnormally intelligent man, his social skills are almost entirely absent. He takes solace in his regimented routine and learns how to get by in basic social situations. As long as he has his routine, he seems to get by quite happily. To everyone but Don, it seems relatively obvious that he places somewhere fairly advanced on the Aspergers scale. He is ‘wired differently.’ Social and emotional encounters unnerve him, logic and reason are his pillars of stability, and changes unsettle him. And when he meets Rosie, he is in for a hell of a lot of changes.

Don reaches a point in his life where he decides he would like a wife. Finding your soulmate is hard for anyone, but Don is…not exactly average. Luckily, he has a plan. He compiles a questionnaire to help him eliminate unsuitable candidates for his potential partner, and help him find an appropriate one. The Wife Project is born.

Rosie is everything the ideal candidate is not. Smoker, drinker, tardy, vegetarian…absolutely unsuitable for the position. But as she bursts into Don’s life like a hurricane, she shakes up his life in a way that makes it impossible to return to how it was before. As they continue to spend time together while he assists her on The Father Project, she brings out a different side to him, and it is incredibly touching to watch their relationship develop. As Don struggles to understand his emotions as well as the emotions of others, my heart broke for him as he wonders if he is even really capable of love.

I fell in love with Don as he battled to go against every instinct and comfort he knew. The efforts he goes to for the people close to him are so touching, especially as things often never go the way he plans, no matter how good his intentions. I also need to point out, this book is hilarious. Don’s wonderful character had me in absolute stitches multiple times. It’s just an absolutely delightful read.

I whole-heartedly recommend you read this book, and get swept up in the beautiful journey of Rosie and Don.

Rating: star-ratingstar-ratingstar-ratingstar-ratingstar-rating

Buy: The Rosie Project on Amazon
Pre-order: The Rosie Effect on Amazon (Released September 25th)

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