Book review – The Rosie Project

I’m currently in the middle of reading The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.

The narrator and main character, Don Tillman, is a brilliant 39 year-old genetics professor looking to settle down. But he’s never had a second date with a woman.

He’s on the Aspergic side of logical, and can’t help committing social gaffes. A serial gaffer. Unwittingly blunt. Socially inept.

With the help of his philandering colleague Gene, Don uses his considerable intellect and persuasive logic to devise The Wife Project, a scientific approach to finding his perfect mate. The resulting questionnaire is sent out to qualifying candidates, leading to some entertaining, and inevitably unsuccessful, dates.

Gene throws a wildcard, Rosie, into the Project and despite clearly being the world’s most incompatible woman for our logical professor, he’s soon using his genetic knowledge to help identify Rosie’s biological father in a picaresque journey and subliminal desire to stay in contact with this most inappropriate female of the species.

I’m about halfway through and I’m enjoying the direction of travel…..emotions are not rational, love is illogical, science is not a good method of selecting a wife. I suspect and hope Don and Rosie find love because of, rather than despite, their obvious incompatibility.

So when does logic outweigh emotion? Should you ever make decisions for the right reason, rather than out of instinct or gut feeling?

Of course you should. Just not where love is involved.

My brother introduced me to Gill when they were working together back in 1996. Logically (that word again) we probably didn’t have much in common, but there was some sort of chemistry and we married within a year of meeting.

Gill is incredibly practical. I’m not. As I write this, Gill is creating an arbour as part of her redesign of the garden.  She will do most DIY in the house. I’ll read, or learn Italian or plan our next trip while Gill is making curtains, playing the guitar or baking cakes. Gill’s family background is very different to mine. I’m tidy, but – how best to put this – that’s not Gill’s strong suit.

If I had sent Don’s Wife Project questionnaire to Gill, we would probably never have had that drink at The Old Emporium in Fleet. Fortunately we did and, amongst the outward incompatibility, we’ve happily found loads of areas of common interest over the years……travelling, walking, skiing, theatre, dance, cinema, cake eating. And plenty more.

And love.

I really hope Don and Rosie reach the same conclusion.

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