This book has been on my to-read list for a long time. Actually, I had it in hardcover from the library and only got a few chapters in before I took it back. Then I saw that it was available in audio and decided to try it again. That format worked for me.
Really, this book should be listened to. Seriously. Let the narrator, Dan O’Grady, read it to you. The main character, Don Tillman is an Austrailian scientist and he tells the story first person. You are inside his fascinating head the whole time. This guy is so charming, although he would be horrified if he knew I called him that. After all, he’s a highly respected genetisist and a professor in Melbourne University.
I call him charming because he tries so hard to please everyone while being blatantly honest. Don really can’t help himself. He has Asperger’s Synodrome (a developmental disorder related to autism and characterized by higher than average intellectual ability coupled with impaired social skills and restrictive, repetitive patterns of interest and activities.) One of his repetitive patterns I found charming was how he categorized every person he met by their approximate age and body mass index, in other words, how old and how fat they were. In spite of what most people think of Asperger’s, Don functions quite well in most situations.
As the story opens Don has decided that his life would be complete if he had a wife. He goes about searching for a wife the same way he does everything else – in a precise scientific manner. He determined all the qualities and attributes necessary in a wife and then he created a questionnaire to be given to all prospective wives. That should do it, he determines.
And then something unexpected happens. Through a little mix-up, a young woman shows up in his office. Don assumes she is one of the successful prospects from his questionnaire. What Rosie wants is someone who can analyze DNA to help her search for her real father. After a few funny and clumsy incidents, Don sets aside his “wife-project” to help Rosie. Thus the “Rosie-project” puts Don and Rosie together in some hilarious events that even include a time in New York City.
After decades of reading romances and romantic comedy from a female perspective, I loved this story from the male point of view. How Don was able to fall in love in the midst of his precise, analytical and scientific way of looking at the world was pure enjoyment. I also liked how Don gradually added friendships and handled, what was for him one awkward social situation after another. As I said before, he was charming.
I liked The Rosie Project so much that I downloaded the audio version of The Rosie Effect. It features narrator Dan O’Grady as Don Tillman telling me the continued story of he and Rosie. I don’t want tell you the summary of that story as it will definitely be full of spoilers for The Rosie Project. The two books were a wonderful, lighthearted way to begin my 2016 reading year. I highly recommend them to you.