The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Published by Simon & Schuster
This novel is one I wouldn’t have read if not for book club, and thank goodness for book club because what a gem this book is! Don Tillman, a socially awkward professor of genetics, is in his early forties, has never been on a date, and is convinced that although he’d love a relationship, he’s unsuitable for a wife. His one and only true friend disagrees with him and sets him on a quest to find the perfect wife – involving speed dating, internet dating, matchmaking, and most importantly, a questionnaire intended to find the one perfect person for Don. One day he meets Rosie, a younger woman who is his opposite in every way – she’s an independent, spur-of-the-moment, who-cares-what-they-think kind of person, but lucky for Don she’s not looking for romance from him. What she’s looking for is to find her biological father, and Don begins to help her on this quest. Along the way, the two become closer than they ever expected and Don finds himself having feelings for Rosie he never before thought possible.
This novel was just so charming! Don is aware that he is different, but it’s almost like at his core, he feels that it’s everyone else who is different from him – he just doesn’t understand why people behave the way they do sometimes, why they don’t say exactly what’s on their mind, why they use sarcasm and humor and tell white lies. His candor is absolutely hilarious. I loved the irony of the fact that he’s researching Asperger’s and has absolutely no understanding of the fact that he’s probably on the spectrum himself. Everything about him charmed me and he was so quirky in an interesting way.
I loved Rosie too and felt deeply for her as she was really a lost child in an adult’s body. She lost her mother at a young age and was told at that time that the man who raised her is not her biological father. I understood her tough exterior because it was clear that she was in pain underneath. And you wouldn’t think that a man like Don who is completely insensitive and doesn’t understand what a woman needs to hear would be able to get under her skin and into her heart,but you’d be wrong. What I loved about the two of them was that they each made the other better. Rosie made Don have more fun, be more outgoing, and get better at engaging with people and being a part of the world. Don made Rosie understand the value of routine and structure and organization – and they worked together so well. I loved the two of them and their slow journey toward finding one another.
The Rosie Project is a really sweet story and I enjoyed it a lot. These two characters that you would never think could work out together both found their way into my heart. It’s fun, quirky, and like I said before, so utterly charming. I definitely can recommend this one and I’m grateful to my book club for bringing it to my attention!