The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

A quick rundown… Don, a professor of genetics, is looking for a wife. Not one to leave things to chance, he devises a rigorous questionnaire – but Rosie’s going to change Don’s carefully organised life.

Strengths: Incredibly funny and brilliant characters.

Weaknesses: I can’t think of any, except that I want to read more by Graeme Simsion!

Why I read it: Read the blurb and loved it, so bought it as soon as it appeared online

Pages: 229 (eBook)

Published: 2013

Publisher: Text Publishing

Setting: Australia and America

Rating: 10 out of 10

Sometimes a book comes along that restores your faith in all that is good with the world – it makes you laugh, it makes you cry but best of all it reaffirms that there is still goodness out there. The Rosie Project is a fantastic book and I can’t praise it highly enough – it’s funny, sad and beautiful. Please note my 100% rating (no less for the great Professor Don Tillman), perfection doesn’t come around often!

The Rosie Project is a romantic comedy in a book (not surprisingly, it started off as a screenplay). Before you start rolling your eyes, stop and read what I have to say – this is a brilliant representation of the genre and would transfer to the screen perfectly. The story is told by Professor of Genetics, Don Tillman, who lives his life by a strict routine. (I don’t mean strict as in exercise every week, I mean strict as in having a seven day balanced meal plan that is reproduced week in, week out and a schedule calculated in minutes). Some may describe Don as having some autistic traits (indeed, one of the early chapters in the book sees Don giving a lecture on Asperger’s disease to children and adults) or regimented in his ways. Unfortunately, Don has little luck in finding a girlfriend. When he hits upon the idea of a carefully constructed questionnaire to find a wife, he runs with it, despite reservations from his two friends, Gene and Claudia. Gene vets the questionnaires and sends Rosie to Don. After a hilarious first date, where Rosie simply doesn’t meet even the minimum standards of Don’s Wife Project, Don agrees to help Rosie find her father. The problem is, Rosie’s father is one of her mother’s graduating class – over one hundred people. This sets the unlikely pair off on adventures, often hilarious. Both of them begin to learn life lived by another way – but is it enough?

I found this book compulsive reading – I truly could not put it down. It’s witty and funny as Don tries to navigate a world that doesn’t play by the rules it sets (a jacket for dinner doesn’t specify the type of jacket). I found Don completely lovable in his own way – he’s determined, resourceful and truly a nice guy. Rosie is his complete opposite – she’s fierce, loyal and unique. The supporting characters are also quirky too – Gene is on a mission to have sex with as many women from different countries as possible while Claudia, his wife is the rock that they all lean on. Add in Rosie’s potential fathers and the novel is full of feeling.

There are so many moments in this book that made me grin, cackle and laugh uproariously – I refuse to share any more because this book should be read by all. It’s a book that you will grow to love, adore and want to read again the moment you get to the last page. Don Tillman forever!

You can also check your compatibility with Don at The Rosie Project website. Don is also on Twitter: @ProfDonTillman.

I read this book as part of Reading Matters’ Australian Literature month, who will donate 50 pence (that’s 72 cents AU, 76 cents USD, 95 cents SG or 2.3 RM) to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, who give books to families in remote Australia.

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