The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Opening sentence: “I may have found a solution to the Wife Problem.”
One of the few novels I’ve read that I can apply the phrase ‘heart-warming’ to. If you don’t finish this book with a huge grin on your face and a warm glow, then you, my friend, are a robot.
Don Tillman, a university lecturer and researcher of genetics is on the autistic spectrum and due to his lack of ability of read people’s emotions, he often makes errors in social situations, which has led to him being single for quite some time and coming up with the idea of the Wife Project. He will simply create a questionnaire to filter out his ideal woman, distribute it to dating sites and wait to the right match to be made.
However, as is the way of life, it is a woman who – on paper – does not fit his criteria at all that captures his attention. Rosie is a psychology graduate and bartender and is introduced to Don through a mutual friend and fellow professor, Gene.
This book made me laugh-out-loud several times, there’s some genuinely cringe-worthy moments due to Don’s inability to read social situations / sarcasm. He takes things way too literally and although you feel awkward for him, at the same time you can’t help but love him just a little bit.
My only criticism would be that Rosie is perhaps not as fully rounded a character as I wanted her to be. As it is told from Don’s point of view (and as we have established, his POV is wildly different from the average person’s) this doesn’t give the opportunity for insight into Rosie’s thought process.
However, the pace of the novel is just perfect, building up to a wonderful ending. I would not call myself a fan of the romance genre and am never drawn to books that overtly claim to be in that genre. What actually drew me to this novel was the charming front cover and the fact that it was funny. What I didn’t realise was that it would become one of my favourite romance books.