By Graeme Simsion
I love reading books where the characters have a unique way of thinking and approaching the world. Don from Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project is a professor of genetics at a university in Melbourne, Australia and from what we can infer, Don is on the autism spectrum.
Don’s amazing memory, discipline and misunderstandings about social norms make him a fascinating narrator. His approach to life is methodical and organized and when Rosie comes into his life, she begins to challenge his strict adherence to this approach.
Rosie is looking for her biological father and as a professor of genetics, Don has access to lab equipment to test DNA samples. The two decide to work together on the Father Project – collecting DNA samples from potential fathers to put the pieces of Rosie’s past together.
The journey that this takes them on is hilarious and exciting and sentimental. I also really liked the supporting characters, Don’s couple friend Gene and Claudia and his former neighbor Daphne. I loved reading how Don and Rosie both grow as characters – neither is forced to change to comply to the other’s worldview but they change in ways that bring them personal growth as well as closer together.
I don’t read many books written by male authors or that take place in Australia but this book was a welcome change for me. When the pair travel to New York City and visit some amazing and touristy places, my heart yearned for my beloved city that is going through a big crisis right now as it is ravaged by the coronavirus. Reading about places I know and love and Rosie and Don making memories in that fabulous city gave me hope that New York will emerge even better and stronger than before.
Review by Michele W.