Sunday, October 5, 2014

Book Review: The Rosie Project

After hearing this book mentioned by two different individuals, and knowing that the main character is a man with Asperger's Syndrome (something I've been interested in for quite a while), I couldn't keep myself from reading The Rosie Project. It was a wild ride, to be sure. I loved the main character, in all his quirkiness.

Don Tillman is a highly intelligent, socially-awkward, genetics professor. He has always had difficulty relating to others, but wants to secure a life partner. Therefore, he employs the steps his logical mind suggests, and creates a sixteen-page questionnaire for women to take, indicating their suitability as a wife. In his Wife Project, he is looking for someone with attributes akin to his own: highly organized, non-smoker, intelligent, prompt, and efficient.

Enter Rosie, a highly-unsuitable person who is recommended by his best-friend as a wild card, since she didn't even complete the questionnaire. Don writes her off immediately (she smokes and drinks, is chronically late, and is a mere bartender), but is quickly sucked into her own project, The Father Project. Rosie is trying to determine the identity of her real father. Who better to help her than a geneticist, with access (albeit, illegal use of the access) to a lab.

Their attempts to finagle DNA samples are hilarious. The relational dance between the two characters is mesmerizing. I loved watching the scene unfold where Don assists Rosie in bartending for a medical class reunion in order to obtain more samples. His particular personality is so well-suited to the task at hand that he is stunning. Although the ending is a bit of a stretch (could an "Aspie" really make the changes necessary to win the girl?), I wouldn't have wanted it to end in any other way.

As this love story progresses, you will find yourself rooting for Don and laughing at the mess he often makes of it. With resilience and determination, these two characters prove that love may not always follow the path we envision. I'll be pleased to see this light-hearted romantic comedy turned into a film (it was originally written as a screenplay and then honed into a novel, and has been optioned by Sony Pictures).

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