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'The Rosie Project' is, quite simply, a little gem. For me, it is the epitomy of a Sunday afternoon novel - one that you savour over a cup of hot chocolate, curled up with a blanket while the rain runs down the window.
Don Tillman is a geneticist at Melbourne University. Intelligent and attractive, he is also somewhat lacking in social skills, and can count his number of friends on one hand. Being thirty-nine and never having more than a first date, he uses his scientific mind to devise a foolproof solution - a questionnaire to present to potential suitors - 'The Wife Project'.
Enter Rosie - the complete opposite of everything that Don thinks he wants in a woman. She proceeds to throw Don's ordered, sheltered life into absolute chaos. Well, you know what they say about opposites attracting...
When I first started reading this book, my first thoughts were - 'this is Sheldon Cooper from 'The Big Bang Theory'. There are blatant similarities. It has been a topic of conversation ever since TBBT began - 'is Sheldon borderline autistic?' He certainly shows many characteristics - and shares a lot of these with Don. The fact is that these are characters you can't help but fall slightly in love with - you embrace their quirkiness and think of them like one of your own friends. However, with TBBT being a primetime TV comedy series, there is not much chance for reflection or drama in amongst all of those jokes. 'The Rosie Project' is a very funny read, but there is an underlying pathos to the novel that makes the story more believable and makes the reader more empathetic to the characters.
The events that take place in 'The Rosie Project' are not remarkable or momentous by any means - but they are to Don. Having lived his life so far in a rigorously scheduled bubble, it seems apt that 'the world's most incompatible woman' is the one to burst that bubble.
Rosie is a great character. She loves Don's quirky behaviour and has the right amount of feistiness to put him in his place. Even though they seem so ill-matched, what they really have in common is their big hearts and capacity to care for others.
I would recommend this book to anybody who fancies a warm-hearted, sweet novel without the cringeworthy predicability of chick-lit. A really nice touch is the inclusion of 'The Wife Project' questionnaire at the end of the novel - try it yourself and see how close you are to Don's ideal match.
I received this book free through ivillage book giveaway otherwise it probably would not have found it s way to my bookshelf. I finished this last night and really enjoyed reading it.
It is basically a chick lit love story but because the main character has aspergers or a degree of autism and has problems fitting in to social occasions. The book is written in the first person and so we see things through Don's eyes and his voice. At times this makes for an entertaining read.
Although he is socially inept he is an endearing character and the things he says and does certainly make you laugh or at least smile. I was amused by him weighing the students assignments prior to marking them as a first stage assessment.
I also liked the fact that he was given first class treatment and escorted through Airports and he had learned NOT to make suggestions for improvements in their systems! I can just picture the scene.
Initially Don had a very strict routine, he cooked the same meals in a weekly rotor, so on every Monday he cooked the same food, every Tuesday it was a different meal from Monday but he had his Tuesday meal and so on.
He wanted to find a life partner and so he created a questionnaire to select likely candidates. Needless to say no one would have fitted all the criteria and if they had maybe they would not have liked him.
He meets Rosie who meets very few of the criteria but they become friends, he finds he enjoys being with her and he does thing well out of his comfort zone.
Both he and Rosie are 'different' and indeed his best friends Gene and Claudia , both psychologists have a very unusual open marriage too so all the characters are far from boring.
The book is written in an easy to read style and is entertaining throughout. In fact the story is sort of a back ground to all the funny things that happen and are described or seen through the eyes of the main character. It reminded me a little of 'the Curious incident of the Dog in the Nighttime' which also views the world through the eyes of someone seeing things very literally.
It does make you think that every action or thing you say in life does effect other people and so we should be careful not to go around deliberately upsetting others as it is easy enough to do unknowingly.
A great entertaining and well written book that will appeal to a range of readers.
When Don Tillman, thirty something professor of genetics decides that it's time for him to find a wife, there's only one way for him to proceed; logically. He makes up a questionnaire and endeavours to find a woman who might last more than one date. For Don Tillman is not your average guy - he's firmly on the autistic spectrum though, seemingly unaware of the fact himself. Don lives in our world but doesn't quite see it in the same way as most of us do.
Through the pages of this book through comic and poignant episodes alike we, the reader, get to see what Don's world is like, along the way perhaps learning a little about life and love ourselves and our own shortcomings and logic where relationships are concerned. When Don meets Rosie she doesn't tick the boxes of his questionnaire at all, for a start she smokes and she's a vegetarian - traits he has struggled with before, but she does provide him with the project of the title and what follows is a gentle story that I found really enjoyable.
At first I found this book a little hard to get into I have to admit, the first person narration is from Don's point of view and requires a little bit of effort on the reader's part - once you realise that the Don sees the world in a very literal way you are half way there. Having allowed myself to be won over by Don and once adapted to his way of perceiving things I couldn't help but be entertained and interested by the story. I found Don strangely endearing - guided by his philandering friend Gene with his long suffering wife Claudia, and trying to make sense of it the world by imposing weekly menus and his logic to every detail of life.
The idea of a hero who suffers from Asperger's syndrome is perhaps not a new one, however it's sensitively and intelligently handled here. Anyone who enjoys a romantic tale which is a little bit more intelligent than your average chick-lit will be sure to enjoy this book which I would recommend if you are looking for a light read with plenty of heart.
Book currently £8.96 in hardcover on amazon - I read an advance readers' copy