Monday, March 10, 2014

The Rosie Project

By Graeme Simsion

Don Tillman has decided it is time he was married. In his late thirties and a college professor, Don has never been on a second date or even on many first dates. Don has standards and few women ever manage to measure up. So he comes up with the Wife Project, a questionnaire designed to weed out the unsuitable candidates. Now all he needs is some lonely women who would be willing to fill out the questionnaire. Then he meets Rosie.
Rosie seems to possess every attribute that Don does not want in a wife. She smokes. She drinks alcohol. She is always late. She doesn't eat meat. She doesn't exercise regularly. She seems disorganized. She's a barmaid. But she is also smart, interesting, vibrant and attractive. And she wants Don's help. She wants to find her biological father, and Don, a geneticist, can give her that help.
Soon the Wife Project takes a backseat to the Father Project as Dan and Rosie work together to trace her biological father, gathering DNA samples from a large group of unknowing men that Rosie's dead mother may have slept with. Dan's orderly life gets turned upside down and, at the same time, becomes much more interesting and entertaining. Rosie adds so much to his life that was missing and he didn't even know was missing. But, he tells himself, she is so not right for him! Isn't she?

Don sounds like a person with Asperger's Syndrome, but it is never stated that he does have Asperger's. He is smart, super-organized, and socially inept. Anyway, he is an odd fellow and doesn't relate well to other people. When Don explains to Rosie that he isn't good at understanding what other people want, she replies sarcastically, "Tell me something I don't know." And Don tells her that "...the testicles of drone bees and wasp spiders explode during sex," totally missing that she was being sarcastic. Or did he? Turns out Don isn't quite the boob he sometimes pretends to be. Whether he has Asperger's or not, Don is a memorable character and I enjoyed reading about his search for a life partner and love. This was a good, fun, and entertaining story.

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