I finished The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion the other week. The main character, Don Tillman, is similar to Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory (a brilliant yet socially inept scientist). Don inadvertently finds love through a woman he considers “highly unsuitable” for his Wife Project (he labels all his undertakings “projects.”) And yes, he’s 39 and on a quest for a wife, so he created an elaborate questionnaire to filter all women through, because you know, she can’t smoke, can’t be vegetarian, can’t drink (too much), can’t be too late or too early for appointments, can’t be picky about ice cream flavours because apparently they all taste the same, and on and on and on.
So along comes Rosie with her thick-soled black boots, spiky hair, cigarettes & penchant for alcohol (she works part-time as a bartender while doing her PhD in psychology at the same school where Don teaches), and she is nothing like his perfect woman. We all know how that story goes . . .
Anyway, Don & Rosie are in contact with each other because he’s helping her with her “Father Project”(identifying her biological father via various DNA experiments) through his expertise as a genetics professor. Ensue adventures of cup-swabbing, napkin-procuring, jersey-bleeding gestures in order to get samples from the men on Rosie’s list of potential fathers.
The novel was surprisingly quite a page-turner as I was curious what Don would do next—how he’d process new experiences outside the range of his vary limited social skills. I would have liked to learn Don’s backstory earlier than 2/3 into the novel, but despite this late start, I still found myself cheering for him. Regarding Rosie, it would have been refreshing if the impulsive, free-spirited woman who awakens Don’s heart to new emotions wasn’t so conventionally unconventional. Surely there are other, less physical ways to portray assumed unsuitability for Don than through her obviously punk appearance. I would have liked to see Simision tease this out a bit more. That being said, it is his first novel, and a pretty good one at that—filled with quirky, humorous, and tender moments. I recommend it if you’re looking for something light and endearing to read over the holidays.
Speaking of holidays, I wanted to follow-up from my last post with a shot of my Douglas fir tree, complete with the Christmas star ornament hanging near the top right. Ah, the smell of fresh pine to greet me each morning!