THE ROSIE PROJECT by Graeme Simsion

rosie projectToday’s offering is a guest post from author and cyber friend Deb Atwood, who wrote the delightful Moonlight Dancer.  Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies. She also reviews books at her blog Pen In Her Hand. A collection of reviews, 31 Ghost Novels to Read Before You Die, is forthcoming in 2016. She lives in California with her husband and Nala the Naughty, an unrepentant former shelter dog.   She is here to tell us about The Rosie Project.   (I hate it when she does this.  Now I have yet ANOTHER title for my To Be Read In My Next Life list. Dang.)


If I were bookstore browsing, I would not have picked up this book. For one thing, the Day-Glo yellow cover seems to scream frothy chick-lit—not my usual go-to in reading material.

But I was visiting my daughter and realized to my utter horror that the books I had downloaded for the trip had not appeared on my e-reader (in my family, books stand in for crack cocaine), so she offered me The Rosie Project. Well, I have not guffawed so much since I re-read Paddington by Michael Bond—the original novel, not the dumbed-down picture book.

The Rosie Project is the best laugh-out-loud novel I’ve read in many a year.

Don Tillman, a socially awkward associate professor in genetics, has an epiphany. He could apply his enhanced intelligence and scientific approach to obtaining a wife. At the age of 39, he has concluded he can never be successful at dating because of his ineptitude at interpersonal communication. (Don exhibits some Asperger-like traits.) His solution is to devise a questionnaire for potential wife candidates using “Likert scales, cross-validation, dummy questions”. He calls it The Wife Project. You get the picture.

Then Don meets Rosie, a combat boot-wearing barmaid…correction, bartender…as Rosie is quick to point out. She favors black apparel and heavy silver jewelry and red hair that’s “spiky like some new species of cactus”. Needless to say, Don judges Rosie a completely unsuitable prospect. Yet Rosie has her own project: find her biological father. Don, with his expertise in genetics, is uniquely qualified to aid her in her quest. And because he has eliminated her as a potential wife, he can relax and simply enjoy her company and help her with The Rosie Project. (Don loves to capitalize and categorize.)

What follows is a rollicking good time for Don and readers alike. Rosie challenges him and forces him to experience a more spontaneous life, all the while hampered by her deep trust issues. Don is a kindhearted soul who, while he correctly assesses his intellectual abilities, does not recognize his internal beauty. He is a diamond in the rough, but, oh what a diamond!

The Rosie Project is a lovely, non-frothy novel that honors love and difference and laughter.

My advice? Pick up a copy of The Rosie Project. But do not read it in  the library. If you do, you’ll be escorted from the premises with a lifetime ban for raucous laughter.


Thanks, Deb.  And now, in addition to The Rosie Project, I have to add Paddington to that ever-growing list.


2 comments on “THE ROSIE PROJECT by Graeme Simsion

  1. Deb Atwood says:

    Thank you, Marti, for allowing me to abscond with your blog for a day. It was so fun to participate!

  2. […] The Rosie Project is not the kind of book I usually review. In other words, The Rosie Project is not YA, nor does it contain a single ghost. But I think you will enjoy this dramatic comedy, and so I invite you to take a gander at my review by clicking here. […]

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