Rated Reads

The Rosie Project

by Graeme Simsion

Rated: High

Don Tillman is a genetics professor and absolutely brilliant. But he’s completely lost when it comes to social situations. He would like to find a woman with whom he’s compatible and who would like and accept him, but so far, he can’t get past first dates. Then it hits him: he should create a detailed questionnaire that would allow him to find the perfect woman for him: a “purpose-built, scientifically valid instrument incorporating current best practice to filter out” those who wouldn’t fit his parameters. He gets to work and calls it The Wife Project.

Meanwhile, his best friend (only friend, really), a married man who can’t stop his womanizing ways, tries to help Don. Shortly after Don gives Gene some of his questionnaires, Gene sends Rosie his way. Don immediately asks her to dinner, trying to take some of Gene’s advice on dating. He is dismayed to find out right away that she has a number of faults, ones that should have been screened out by the questionnaire. But he does find himself interested in a new project: helping Rosie find her biological father (her mother died when she was younger but there was some suspicion her “father” wasn’t really her father). So he puts The Wife Project on hold and commences The Father Project.

Don and Rosie end up doing some wacky things to obtain DNA samples from family friends whom Rosie thinks could be possible candidates. It’s all a bit crazy and definitely funny for the reader, and Don finds himself having fun, as well. Only he doesn’t really realize it; it’s only clear to the reader by the things he says, which makes it even more entertaining.

In short, readers get to enjoy the experience of a brilliant man with Asperger’s falling in love with absolutely the “wrong woman” for him. It’s all told from Don’s point of view, and it is sweet and clever and funny all at the same time. I just loved it. Such a light, fun read. I found myself reading chunks aloud to my teenager because I just had to share what was making me laugh out loud. Would be absolutely perfect if it didn’t have the strong language.

Rated: High, for a couple dozen uses of strong language, as well as more moderate language, and some sexual references.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for about 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

One Response to The Rosie Project

  1. […] sequel (to The Rosie Project) was a delightful book. My husband got to it first and could not resist reading bits out to me. […]

  • The Rosie Project
  • by Graeme Simsion
  • Rated: High
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: