Some books are like an attack on your heart, or your soul; a monsoon of emotion and feeling. Other books are the equivalent to sitting your heart and soul by the hearth of a fireplace and feeling warm and soft all over. For me, The Rosie Project was the hearth.When The Rosie Project started floating around our office, it’s definition as a “screwball romance” turned off many people; for in fact, the word romance did appear on the advance reading copy cover. But screwball romance was the perfect way to describe it, and there is so much more to this book than a quirky love story (though that part doesn’t hurt at all!).
The Rosie Project tells the story of Don Tillman, a 39-year-old genetics professor with undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome who has decided that he is ready to get married. Like all other research he has conducted in his career, he figures the best way to go about finding a compatible mate is to create a questionnaire. Said questionnaire becomes a sixteen-paged, double-sided mammoth and Don is curious as to why women just can’t seem to answer the questions appropriately.
Enter Rosie, who fails on almost all accounts of wife qualifications for Don, but whom he oddly enjoys spending time with. Rosie has her own agenda: she is on the hunt for her biological father, whom her mother admitted was not he man who raised her, but never gave any specifics before she passed away. When Don agrees to aid Rosie in her search, the two begin an unlikely friendship that will be the most fun you’ve had with two characters in ages!
Both with different goals, both misfits in their own right and both finding in each other things they never even realized they needed, Don and Rosie set off on a quest that leads to unexpected, hilarious and wonderful places. Though The Rosie Project may be considered by some to be a “light” read, it is one of the most refreshing ones I have encountered recently.
Author Graeme Simsion has said in an interview that Don was carefully created from his own experiences and those of his friends, and the topic of Asperger’s is dealt with in the most conscientious way. The themes of identity, love and acceptance were vibrant and strong and I fell in love with Don, Rosie and even Don’s two closest friends, Gene and Claudia. I rooted for them, laughed with them, shed tears for them. I whole-heartedly loved them.
This book deserves a hug. And you deserve to read a book that deserves a hug! Also, when you do decide to pick this book up, do Don and Rosie a favour, and have your favourite cocktail as you read. The more complicated the cocktail, the better! You’ll understand why later!
And lastly, Don has Twitter! @ProfDonTillman!