(Review) The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

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To find the textbook candidate for being a companion for life, it is essential to cross verify all behavioural traits which you might want the candidate to have. For this, it seems a perfectly rational solution to create a questionnaire and conduct a survey among potentials. You know, like an experiment. You can call it the Wife Project.

That sounded like a computer, right? Well, this is exactly how Don’s brain functions. Don is a genetics professor who has been told that he lacks in social skills and identification of critical emotions. So, it dawns on him one day that it might be difficult to find a partner from conventional methods. So, he does what any socially awkward male professor would do. Well, not exactly. He created a questionnaire to identify the ‘One’. But it all goes haywire when Rosie comes into the picture. Don and Rosie together start the Father Project and are having a lot of fun. The problem is Don doesn’t know why he’s hanging out with Rosie. She is the exact opposite of the ideal candidate for the Wife Project. Is he falling in love with her? There is another major problem. Is he capable of identifying an emotion so complicated?

The best thing about the novel is the narration. As it’s written in Don’s perspective, the entire book is like the first paragraph of this review. We see how Don is a fantastic lecturer, has a photographic memory and lives his life adhered to a well-defined schedule. Also, we see him struggle with simple things like talking to people, going on dates, identifying sarcasm and making friends. Much of the humour is showcased this way. Don is an amusing character and the author captured his persona quite well. But after the entry of Rosie, the book becomes quite foreseeable. It’s like the author took extreme measures to make the character of Rosie contradict on every possible aspect of Don’s life. For a chance encounter, such opposite poles to meet and like each other seems highly implausible. The Father Project, as you’ll find out in the book, takes quite a lot of time of it. Romance novels generally find a thing which works to keep the two leads together whether they want it or not. The Father Project is that thing for this book and truth to be told, is not very substantial. It feels like it is not enough to bring Rosie and Don closer. The ending itself is quite cheesy and predictable.

Although the book has some wonderful Wow moments, I found myself digressing to other books while reading this, something I haven’t done in a while. For one who doesn’t read much romance novels, I am not sure this is what’s going to inspire me to read more.

 

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