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Book Review

‘The Rosie Project’ satisfies romantic comedy forte

12/18/2013

bookCourtesy of Beaverdale Books

Review by Sally Wisdom

Simon and Schuster

Oct. 1, 2013

$28

HIV

304 pp.

Graeme Simsion’s “The Rosie Project” will appeal to readers who would never touch a “romance” novel but enjoy a good romantic comedy movie. Quirky Australian genetics professor Don Tillman narrates the novel in his own peculiar, stilted syntax. He describes an orderly life with a Standardized Meal System, precise time allotments for cleaning, sleep, work, exercise and a weekly schedule for just about everything. He understands others find his behavior odd, but readers will embrace his quirkiness and cheer for him all the way.

Don is conscious of his lack of ability to form and maintain social relationships. On an intellectual level, he recognizes the advantages of marriage, but his forays into dating have been unsuccessful and, to his way of thinking, an inefficient use of time. He is thrilled when it occurs to him to take a scientific approach, and he initiates “The Wife Project” beginning with a questionnaire for prospective candidates to narrow the available pool down to those with the qualities he considers essential in a wife.

Enter Rosie. She is a flighty bartender (although that is a sideline — she is a Ph.D. candidate in psychology) who drinks, smokes and has absolutely none of the qualities Don is looking for. As he assists her with a project, he is more and more drawn to her all the while bemoaning the fact that she is completely unsuitable as a wife.

Remember this is a romantic comedy with all the twists, turns and misunderstandings one would expect and an ending that satisfies. Along the way it is touching, very funny and gives the reader insight into the world of those who struggle to read social cues. I can’t wait for the movie. CV

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