There are some books out there that are pretty pedestrian. Then there are others who take you gently by the hand and lead you into a world that feels real, complete, wonderful. Thankfully, this book falls in the latter. So well entrenched is it that it felt heartrending to tear myself away and return to the real world, even when it had finished.
What is it about?
Professor Don Tillman, working in the Genetics department at the University of Melbourne, wants a wife. Not everyone’s cup of tea and certainly not mine, normally. What sets it apart though is the fact that Don has got Asperger’s syndrome, granted it is undiagnosed. The other intriguing piece of news is that the woman in the title is looking for her father.
For a book that is essentially a romance novel, it doesn’t feel like one. It helps that we experience life from Don’s point of view. Some may accuse Don of being cold and heartless but that is not his fault, his brain has been wired differently. His world consists of logic, systems and efficiency. If it does not fit into any of these categories it does not feature in his life. Then Rosie walks into his life.
It makes sense that Rosie is not a perfect life partner for Don. For one thing it means that Don is not nervous around her In fact, it helps that Rosie loves his special nature. Time and again we see Don’s learning ability in action. Then the newly acquired skill is put to the test.
The best example is the Great Cocktail Night. Watching him perform his temporary role was fascinating. Even when presented with a problem he already has a solution in mind.
The more I read The Rosie Project the more I came to see some of Don’s traits in myself. I say some because, unlike Don, I can feel empathy. So much so that I found it hard to read when Don didn’t get the girl. After all they had been through together, why was she refusing him?
A major drawback for her was Don’s incapability for love. She would not enter a relationship unless she knew she could be loved. Happily, Don doesn’t take no for an answer.
Looking back I can say that I loved reading this book. If you’ve not read this book before then you’re in for a treat. Charming, funny, sad, happy this book has all of these and more. Buy it, read it, love it then do it all over again because its that good.