Saturday, 2 May 2015

The Rosie Project: Book Review | The Small Desk

Another book, another bestseller, and another book that didn't disappoint! This time it's The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion; another debut author who has NAILED it with his witty, sensitive and relatable novel. This book has been such a success that it has reportedly made Simsion a millionaire!

Don Tillman is looking for love. He has a very specific idea in mind of what his perfect match would be; so much so that he devises a questionnaire and begins 'The Wife Project'. Don has many specific ideas about how things should and shouldn't be done, the Standardised Meal System being one of them! It is inferred throughout the novel that Don has Asperger's syndrome, but doesn't know it.

There is a really beautiful part in the book where Don is talking to a group of Asperger's children and tells them that they are not 'faulty', but a variant, and having the syndrome is potentially a major advantage as it is associated with 'organisation, focus, innovative thinking and rational detachment'. This is really where you start to understand how Don thinks. The book becomes a sort of portal into the world of what it is like to live with Asperger's.

Not far into the book Don meets Rosie and embarks on 'The Father Project', in order to help her find out who her biological father is. Unbeknownst to Don 'The Father Project' and 'The Wife Project' slowly start to merge, and Rosie teaches Don that not everything can be enjoyed in a structured, specific and routine manner. Don learns through many twists of fate and unpredictable events how to live life in the moment and slowly fall in love.

It is not a traditional love story, and the love parts of it are not sickly sweet. It is a book where you are hoping throughout that Don will survive another social situation and are page-turning to find out what out-of-character event Don will end up in next. To say that certain parts of the book did not remind me of myself would be inaccurate! Needless to say, I will definitely be reading the sequel, The Rosie Effect.

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