the Rosie Project

the Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion


Don Tillman is the narrator of this story where he thinks he has found a solution to “the wife problem”.

He is a geneticist and has developed a questionnaire to use for this project Don is challenged, almost robotic. He doesn’t understand social cues, barely feels emotion and can’t stand to be touched.  

His best, and almost only friends, are Gene and Claudia who are psychologists. Gene works at the same university, thanks to Don’s help. Claudia helps Don balance her husband Gene’s suggestions for his interest in Rosie who is a graduate student in Gene’s department. Claudia, as a joke answers Don’s questionnaire for "the wife project".

Rosie is interested and Don finds her beautiful and in many ways, they hit it off right away but then she is just unsuitable as the questionnaire clearly shows. Rosie seems to see through some of Don’s perceived weaknesses.

Rosie and Don get to know each other. He learns of her own project regarding her father.  It really is a challenging and complicated “father project” and one that Don is well qualified to help with. Don of course rules her out for the wife project but agrees to help her on the father project. We watch him fall in love with Rosie, not even knowing he is. We see much of the same happen to Rosie.

Don’s nativity serves to dissect the step by steps taken in their relationship. He does seem a little nuts, but oddly we all see some of our self in his simplistic approach. We feel bad for, and laugh, as Don tries to understand his own feelings and Rosie’s. Rosie’s father project leads the two from Australia to New York. The twists and turns of that story are funny.

Graeme Simsion is a skilled writer. His scenes make you feel that you are in the story. Don in his methodical well-reasoned approach seems to be the real Don and he seems likable and believable. He changes or at least can manage change when needed as the plot goes on and it is funny but wonderful in its own way.

Graeme Simsion Quotes

“I haven’t changed my mind. That’s the point! I want to spend my life with you even though it’s totally irrational. And you have short earlobes. Socially and genetically there’s no reason for me to be attracted to you. The only logical conclusion is that I must be in love with you.” 

“If you really love someone,' Claudia continued, 'you have to be prepared to accept them as they are. Maybe you hope that one day they get a wake-up call and make the changes for their own reasons.”