Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion - A Very Good Read

I've been seeing positive reviews of The Rosie Project from fellow bloggers for quite a while now.  And, yet, I've had it sitting in my TBR pile for a long time.  So why did I read it now?  2 reasons, actually.  The 1st is that it's the August Los Gatos Library Evening Book Club selection.  But, normally, I would have waited until late July/early August to read it.  That leaves me with the 2nd reason.  We were in Tahoe over the Memorial Day weekend.  And I was all set to read The Goldfinch (which I referenced in my last post).  We brought The Rosie Project along for Joni to read in case we got to the beach (we didn't - the weather was uncooperative).  So there I am, truly disliking The Goldfinch, but kind of stuck because TRP was there for Joni.  But, lo and behold, she didn't have any time to start it because she gets up much later than I do.  It was a simple decision to cast the bird book out and start Rosie.  In retrospect - an excellent decision.

By now, just about everybody has heard of The Rosie Project.  But in case you have been out of touch, here is a description from our good friends at (you guessed it) Goodreads:

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

This book hit me in funny ways.  I liked it a lot.  In fact, I gave it a 3.25.  But how it/I went about it was unusual.  Because of the nature of Don Tillman, and the fact that he is a social misfit, the bulk of the book is told by Don.  That means that most of the story is narrated in a monotonal(?) voice.  That's what makes the last 40 pages (out of 292) of the book so emotionally charged.  I don't want to say too much, but Rosie is a truly interesting character. Her influence on Don is fun to watch.  And it occurred to me that the author needed the 1st 252 pages to make the last 40 read like they do.

Another interesting element of the book is that it takes place in Australia - but I completely forgot that throughout the reading.  Except for a couple of times when the author says "mum," "fitted," and "ring back," I kept thinking we were in the U.S.  Interesting.

That's about all I've got.  I don't know if I'm going to read The Rosie Effect, which, not surprisingly, is the sequel.  I think I'm good with just this one.


  1. Hi Lloyd, I saw this on LinkedIn and thought I'd give it a read. I never heard of this book. It sounds quite interesting though. I might have to check out a sample of it on Amazon. You also mention The Goldfinch. That's a book that keeps coming back to me to read, but for some reason, I haven't done so. It's received mixed reviews, so I'm still on the fence about it. Thanks much.

    P.S. My comment directs you to my old blog. If interested, my new blog is http://baerbookspress.com/blog/.

  2. I will definitely take a look at your blog.