Review: The Rosie Project – Graeme C. Simsion



Don Tillman #1

SYNOPSIS: 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. – via Goodreads

GRADE 8Abbi recommended this read for me (of course she did), and it was yet another awesome pick. Thanks lady! I had inordinate amounts of fun with this book. Within the first few pages I knew that this was my cup of tea. We are introduced to Don, and he is weird, most likely suffering from Asperger’s. As a psychology student, I delighted in reading about Don, his Standardized Meal Systems, his rituals and lack of social skills, and how he just managed to step on other people’s toes and not mean to. Simsion did a fantastic job with the writing style, which made this read that much more enjoyable and realistic. It is written in a cold, clinical sense. You cannot help but laugh when you see how Don’s reasoning works, what he perceives to be “minor” social mistakes that he makes but are absolutely unacceptable actually, and get sucked into his life story. Don is funny and entertaining, but he is cut off from the norms of society, due largely to the fact that his skills of empathy are completely non-existent. The moment Rosie entered the equation I was grinning. She was so not what Don had set out to find when he conceived of the Wife Project, and was, in actual fact, not even a candidate, but she sure as hell gave him a run for his money, and that was just something else. Their interactions were amusing, and Rosie’s exasperation at time was perfectly executed. Claudia and Gene were more side characters than anything else, but that also gels with the whole story being told from Don’s perspective, and he is pretty absent around and toward other people. Watching him grow and change, question his life and learn new skills was an absolute joy. I had plenty moments where I just laughed out loud, and other times where Don made realisations that were rather sad. Reading this tried to put you in his shoes, and while we still get the social norms, it was also a great way to identify with Don’s struggle. There were flaws with the book (that end got pretty rom-com like but it was fine, and Don changed a lot of things really quickly with minor distress), of course, but nothing so bad as to cripple the experience. Overall I reckon it is an excellent read that is engaging and zips by, I would highly recommend checking out The Rosie Project.