Book Review by Sheree Combs: The Rosie Project is a fun read

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Our book club selection for December was The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Everyone felt that we had been reading some long and heavy (content wise, not heft wise) books so one of our fellow book club readers suggested The Rosie Project. It is a novel about a man who puts together a questionnaire to obtain a wife. When I first started reading the book I envisioned the main character, Don Tillman, as a perfect characterization of Sheldon from the TV show The Big Bang Theory. The speech patterns and mannerisms matched perfectly – I couldn’t visualize him any other way.

The book starts out with, Don a professor of genetics, giving a speech on Asperser’s syndrome which Don associates with organization, focus, innovative thinking, and rational detachment (all traits that Don exhibits). He has his life scheduled to the minute. He does the same things at the same time every day. He eats the same foods on the same day every week. He never likes to deviate from his schedule until he meets Rosie. Don is socially awkward which limits the number of friends that he has. He decided that he would like to find a wife and decides the best way to do this and eliminate unlikely choices is to develop a questionnaire to determine who would be a suitable wife candidate. It is hilarious that the first thing Don does when he meets someone new is to mentally estimate their age and body mass (BMI).

Don does not have many friends. His only close friends are Gene, head of the Psychology Department and the person who hired Don at the university and his Gene’s wife, Claudia Don’s clinical psychologist both who he enlists to help him with the wife project.

Don advertises on traditional dating sites as well as commercial match making organizations providing a link to his wife questionnaire. Gene asks to see the 304 completed questionnaires and tells Don he will pick out several that he thinks Don should try.

There is confusion as Rosie, referred by Gene to contact Don, a professor of genetics, for help in determining who her real father might be, and Don who thinks Rosie is applying for the wife project and is a Gene recommendation as a wife candidate. Don quickly determines that Rosie is definitely not compatible and does not meet the qualifications on the questionnaire but he is interested in helping her learn who her father is.

As he helps Rosie with the Father Project, Don starts changing aspects of his rigid routine as he spends more time with Rosie with humorous outcomes, and he sees that life is not as black and white as he thought.

This was a fast, humorous read. As I said before, I visualized Sheldon as I was reading this. If you are looking for something fun to read, this is your book.

Sheree Combs is a member of the Fleetwood Library Book Club. The club reads different books monthly.

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