Anyone who knows me will know how rare it is for me to read a book that isn’t YA or Middle Grade. The choosing of this book created quite a stir at work as I walked into the staff room, head down, nose firmly planted between the pages of what turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous book.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion was an unexpected delight. It tells the story of Don Tillman, a man who is, to say the very least, different. He is a genetics professor from Australia who follows a very strict set of rules he has set for himself. He has a standardised meal pattern for maximum nutrition and minimal effort, a black belt in aikido and goes for runs on a regular basis with his friend Gene.
When a dear friend tells him how he would make someone a good husband one day, he embarks upon ‘The Wife Project’ under the distinct impression that he has created a questionnaire that will find him his soulmate and perfect partner. (At this point I found myself reminded of An Abundance of Katherines by John Green and Colin Singleton’s quest to find the formula for a relationship/breakup.)
What Don doesn’t factor into the equation is Rosie, a spontaneous, often late, smoker and drinker with awkward food requirements and a yearn to find her biological Father. She resets his clock, changes his meal plans and turns his life upside down.
On the whole the book is amusing, incredibly clever and, overall, sweet. The only pitfall, for me, was the predictability of the ending. Something happens about three quarters of the way through and a piece of particularly clunky dialogue gives away part of the ending. Which somehow still manages to be perfect and all sorts of lovely!