‘The Rosie Project’ caught my eye as it arrived punctually on the shelves of my bookstore in a stylishly loud orange jacket. The debut novel by Graham Simsion tells the story of Don Tillman, a genetics professor with photographic memory, a perchant for lobster on Tuesdays, 2 friends and a sixteen page questionnaire. The questionnaire that Don has devised as part of his new personal work, ‘The Wife Project’. As Don navigates hilarious social encounters with women with the finesse of a lobster attempting to tap-dance, it becomes increasingly obvious to Don that there just isn’t much of a chance that a women could live up to his questionnaire. Enter Rosie, a red haired, smoking ‘barmaid’ with daddy issues. Immediately out of the running as a potential mate for life, Don is nonetheless intrigued by Rosie and devises a plan to help Rosie find her biological father. The shenanigans that ensue further reveals Don’s amazing strengths and not so great weaknesses; he struggles to understand social complexities, becomes a bartender for a night and ends up falling for the completely wrong girl, Rosie. Ultimately Don’s internal monologue gives way to heartwarming and hilarious observations about the everyday situations in life, a delightful first novel set in urban Melbourne and definitely worth a gander.
Notes: While Reading…
Drink: Assam Bold – Twinings with a dash of milk, it goes well with the social awkwardness and geneticists.
Estimated reading time: Normal people:2-3 Days, Bookstore kids: 1 night