Reviewed by Kirsty Nicole Pole
Don has decided it is high time that he gets married, but he never seems to be able to get past a second date. As a scientist, convinced the problem is that he just hasn’t found the perfect woman, he reaches the conclusion that the only way forward is to create ‘The Wife Project’. However, Don has a few stipulations first; she cannot be a smoker, a drinker, perpetually late or work in a bar. Then in walks Rosie Jarman, all of the above.
To say this book is a love story with a twist would be an understatement. It is a completely fresh look at love and attraction through the eyes of a character that says-what-he-sees and knows what he wants. Don is a loveable, unconventional male protagonist. His Asperger’s means that he has strict routines when it comes to cleaning his bathroom and responds to everything literally, especially when someone asks him to “give them a minute” and Don times it on his watch. None of his personality traits are appealing to the women he tries to date, ‘The Apricot Ice-Cream Disaster’ being the first of many examples. So Don turns to best friend Gene and his wife Claudia to help him with the ‘Wife Project’, a collection of scientifically selected questions designed to separate the good from the bad in the dating world.
Then in walks Rosie, absolutely everything that Don does not want and he writes her off within minutes, but Rosie needs Don’s help with something and when he agrees and they start to spend more time together, he notices the amount of fun he is having with her. As he helps Rosie, Don finds himself facing decisions about whether to change his daily food plan or whether to cut short his scheduled shower by two minutes. Rosie slowly begins to turn his life upside down and the changes in Don’s character are beautiful to read.
It took me a long time to get used to Don but by the time I was half way through the book I loved him. It felt like a breath of fresh air to read a first person narration by a character with Asperger’s. I often found myself agreeing and even giggling at some of things he would say, knowing that he was right - crying at fictional people in a film that isn’t real doesn’t really make a lot of sense. Rosie is perfect in this book, she is everything that Don needs but doesn’t realise it yet.
My favourite part of this book is on Page 315 (Don’t go straight to it!!). It made me feel warm and fuzzy in a way I didn’t expect. If you like conventional women’s romantic fiction then ‘The Rosie Project’ may not be for you, but if you want unique, ambitious, love-with-a-twist then give Don and Rosie a try.
8/10MORE ON THIS BOOK