This is such a charming book. It is a love story and it reads very much like a romantic comedy and yet it is different. There is plenty of plot that keeps the story moving, but it is the characters that make it special.
It is narrated in the first person by the protagonist Don Tillman, who is a professor of genetics. He is forty years old, he’s good looking and smart, he’s a genius, actually, he’s highly organised and very particular. He’s wedded to his schedule and he hates disruptions of any kind and he’s looking for a wife.
The only problem, is that he’s socially inept, so all his attempts at dating end in disaster. The book begins with Don preparing to give a lecture on Asperger’s syndrome. As he goes through the symptoms of Asperger’s and he begins to lecture, it becames obvious that he has Asperger’s too. Only he isn’t aware of it.
Then begins his search for a wife. He meets a lot of women…nothing works out. Then Rosie Jarman walks into his office. He assumes that she is there because of ‘the wife project’ as he calls it. She’s not. She just wants him to help her find her biological father.
He’s relieved when he realises this, because Rosie is the wrong person for him in every way. She smokes, she can’t cook, she is consistently late, she works part time as a barmaid….she maybe a PhD student by day, but that doesn’t make up for her other faults.
All of this makes Don sound arrogant, but he isn’t. He’s an adult with Asperger’s who doesn’t understand or process emotion well and has some very rigid ideas about the person who would be right for him.
Anyway, Don agrees to help Rosie find her father and they end up spending a lot of time together. Rosie turns his world upside down and he hates it at first, but then he begins to enjoy himself and do the sort of things he’s never done before, and of course, they fall in love.
It is an engaging story. It is narrated by Don, so you see and experience everything from his perspective, which is delightfully different from that of a regular person. It is this that makes the book special. It is Don’s perception of the world that will make sure that this book stays with you.
The book is written well. The writing is the good, the characters are consistent and the plot is believable. It is a very easy read. It did feel as if it was a bit rushed towards the end and there are certain minor plot points that I thought were resolved a little too easily to be believable, but these are minor flaws.
The Rosie Project is a thoroughly enjoyable read.