The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

I read a lot, but it's actually very rare for me to read a book in a day, which is why I'm so impressed with this début novel from Melbourne author, Graeme Simsion. When it first arrived in my local book store I was somewhat put off by the little Women's Weekly sticker on the front.  Uh oh, I thought to myself, here comes 200 pages of fluff.  I didn't buy it, purposefully.  But I looked at it increasingly covetously... and then, at the Writers Festival....

There is something about this book.  Once I had it, I couldn't put it down.  The Rosie Project is part Marian Keyes story (think: Mystery of Mercy Close), part Big Bang Theory.  Its protagonist, Don Tillman may not have full blown Asperger's Syndrome but he's certainly very high functioning and his emotions are about a kilometre away from him at all times.  But he's lovable, and he's charming, and because the book is written from his point of view, as the reader you get to sit in this  confusing position with Don, seeing at the same time how he sees the world and how it sees him.  At first, Don is annoying.  And then, he's charming.  After that, he's just plain fun and you want him to get what he wants.

Don needs a solution to The Wife Problem (i.e. that he doesn't have one) so he invents The Wife Project to help him find the perfect woman.  This questionnaire is supposed to help him find a teetotal non-vegetarian with a scientific understanding of the world, and this woman is supposed to become his wife.  Don can't understand why this doesn't go off without a hitch- and then he meets Rosie, who is definitely NOT wife material.  So why can't he stop seeing her?  And why does he feel compelled to help her track down her biological father?

This book is light hearted fun with a deeper, more touching message about the difficulties of relating to one another in the modern world.  Don's adventures (I won't spoil them by mentioning them, but he certainly gets up to great hijincks) will have you chuckling to yourself behind the page, and by the final chapter I'm sure you'll be rooting for him to find the love of his life.  Do yourself a favour and read it.

Five out of five.