Thursday, February 6, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

In some books, voice is everything. Or, if not everything, at least the strength of the voice is what makes the book stand out. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is that kind of book. It’s a sweet and charming love story, with a cute, fun plot. But what makes this book so particularly endearing is its amusing narrator, Professor Don Tillman.

A geneticist with Aspergers (who isn’t aware of it- though, of course, he recognizes that he’s different), Don Tillman has decided that it’s time to find a life partner. Dissatisfied with the dates he’s been on, which have ended more or less disastrously, and efficient in all things, he comes up with "The Wife Project" as a means to eliminate all unsuitable candidates. This will allow him to make the best use of his time and avoid further embarrassing situations. A 16 page questionnaire for potential prospects to fill out is step one.

Preliminary results are not promising. However, a woman arrives at his office, sent by a friend (one of his two friends) who is aware of the project, and Don dutifully takes her to dinner, thinking she’s a candidate. It is immediately clear that Rosie Jarman is totally unsuitable. Although he doesn’t have the results of her questionnaire, he can identify numerous answers that she would have gotten wrong. And yet, he enjoys the evening out in a way he cannot explain.

Shortly, he learns that Rosie is trying to learn the identity of her father. She has a couple of prospects, but can’t confront them outright. As a genetics researcher, Professor Tillman is in a position to help her out. It isn’t exactly ethical, but they just need to get hold of some DNA from the men in question. Putting "The Wife Project" on a temporary delay, he and Rosie team up on "The Father Project."

Thrown together in such an unlikely pursuit, Don and Rosie develop a relationship that is something neither of them expected.

This is a delightful romantic comedy. Although the two would appear at first glance to be completely incompatible, this book demonstrates how well opposites can attract. Don Tillman’s comical misreading of emotional situations and Rosie’s empathy bring them through a variety of misunderstandings to the understanding that readers can root for.


  1. This book wasn't the best book I read last year but it was my favorite one. Can't recall the time I laughed so hard over a novel.

  2. The Rosie Project has been on my to-read list for a while now, and I've forgotten what this book was about until I read your review. Glad you enjoyed the narration and the plot! I need to move this book up my list so that I can read it soon, haha. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Susan!

  3. I really loved this book - it was lovely and funny. Also Rosie and Don definitely were not characters you would have thought would get on. But as the story progressed it all changed...

    I also recently reviewed this book on my blog ( ) if you would like to see what else I though :-)