The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Don Simpson is a genetics professor in Australia. Nearing 40, he's also looking for a wife, so embarks on "The Wife Project," an extensive endeavor that involves a 16-page questionnaire for his prospects. If that sounds intense, it's because, well, Don is a bit intense. While it's not explicitly stated, he'd probably rank on the autistic or Asperger scale. He has a series of quirks, and his life is carefully planned, right down the same meals eats each week - same meal on the same day, prepared the same way, and eaten at the exact same time. But when Don meets Rosie, she threatens to disrupt the fabric of his carefully created life. Don wouldn't mind, except Rosie has immediately failed the wife questionnaire. So why does he continue to spend time with her?
This was a book I've heard about for a while and been meaning to read for ages. There's a sequel out by now, so the outcome wasn't exactly a surprise (though I doubt it would have been even if I didn't know about the sequel), but it was still a lovely journey to embark upon. Don is extremely well-written and his personality comes across the pages amazingly well. The book does an excellent job of conveying a range of emotions from haunting sadness to just pure amusement. Don is amusing, but I never felt like the laughs came at his expense. If anything, you come to love him. His voice is captured precisely (and like several of my friends, I often pictured him as Sheldon Cooper). His journey to fit in in the world is not an easy one, and Simsion portrays it quite well. Many times I just wanted to hug Don (although I wouldn't, as I knew he'd hate it!). Rosie is an excellent foil for Don and seeing him through her eyes is magical in its own way. The book is not a conventional love story, but it's lovely and sweet, funny and sad, and really quite enjoyable. I'll definitely check out the sequel at some point, too.
View all my reviews