The Rosie Project is about a man named Don, a professor of genetics, who is extremely intelligent, but very socially awkward. He hasn't had much luck in dating or the friends department. He is also very OCD and his life revolves around daily/weekly schedules that he never defers from, which makes finding a mate, or even just friends, very difficult. At the age of 40, he has decided it's time he finds himself a wife. After many years of bad dates, he has decided he needs to find a way to weed out those who are unsuitable and focus on only the candidates that meet his long list of requirements. Therefore the Wife Project begins.
He puts together a lengthy 16-page questionnaire which he will use to screen all potential wife candidates. Meanwhile his friend Gene sets him up with Rosie, who Don immediately decides does not fit his requirements within the Wife Project survey. She is a whirlwind who smokes and drinks and is always late. He is intrigued by her though for some reason, and when he finds out she is looking for her biological father, he decides being a genetics professor he can help her find her father through genetics testing. Therefore the Father Project begins.
Although Don feels that Rosie and the Father Project is messing up his strict daily/weekly schedule, and his Wife Project, he starts to find himself having fun and feeling emotions for the first time ever. He soon realizes that maybe his life needs a little shaking up and he has Rosie to thank for this.
Overall I felt the book was really interesting, and captured my attention from the very beginning throughout the entire book. It was kind of a love story, but different because the focus was on a guy who is unlucky in love, not a girl which I feel is typical of most love stories. It was a really quick read (only about 240 pages on my Nook) and kind of a light-hearted story that would be a perfect beach read, or in my case a snuggle up on the couch during a winter storm read.
Questions from the Between the Lines Book Club (spoiler alert!):
1. Where you surprised at the ultimate revelation of Rosie's biological father? Did you suspect someone else?
Yes I was definitely surprised the father she grew up with ended up being her real father. I also had to re-read the ending a couple of times to get that he was her father. I felt that the way it was written was a little hard to understand, but maybe that was just me. I totally suspected Gene was the father, with all of his affairs. I also wondered at some point if it would be someone totally different and not someone from her Mother's medical class at all.
2. Do Don's Asperger's conditions help him or hinder him? Does Don's having autism offer any advantages in his life?
I think in the beginning of the book these do hinder him. He obviously has issues with personal relationships, and revealed throughout the book he had a difficult childhood and was bullied because of this. But I think that by the end of the book he learned how to use these challenges to his benefit. For example he did great at bar tending that one night because he could focus and remember drink orders and was able to quickly pick up on how to make different cocktails.
3. Do you feel happy for Don when he gets rid of some of his unique mannerisms in order to win Rosie, or do you feel that he lost part of himself?
I don't think he lost too much of himself. I think he learns how to make the best of his abilities. I also don't think he was completely happy before, so even though he changed a little bit, in the end he is so much happier than he was before.
4. Does Gene get his comeuppance? What do you think of his marriage situation?
I thought his marriage was rather strange, and at first wondered why his wife would agree to an open marriage in the first place, or if she really knew what was really going on. But to each their own I guess. But in the end I was proud of Don for standing up to Gene and telling him that he basically needed to grow up and needed to respect his wife.
Have you read The Rosie Project? What were your thoughts?