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“The Rosie Project” : Book Review

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“The Rosie Project” : Book Review

Sagine Jean Charles, Staff Writer

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The Rosie Project is a fictional romance novel which was written by Graeme Simsion in 2013. Some background information about the author is that this is his debut novel. Prior to becoming an author at age 50, Simison was an IT consultant.

The setting takes place in Australia, where the protagonist of the story, Don Tillman, lives as a geneticist college professor. It is revealed early in the book that the main character has been diagnosed with Asperger’s  Syndrome in the initial years of his life and because of this,  Tillman speaks and thinks in a formal and technical way. As a result, his  behavior drives off other people to the point that he only has two friends.

The main problem of the story is that Tillman is looking for someone to spend the rest of life with, but remains extremely critical of his choices of an ideal partner, even having a list of fifteen pages long! This changes when he comes across a bright medical student named Rosie Jarman. The two go on a date, but Tillman rules her out as a suitable partner for him. Still intrigued by Jarman’s search for her biological father who her mother never told, he befriends her and gives her access to his university laboratories. Over the course of the novel, Don and Rosie learn about each other’s differences and work together to solve them.

One of the most unique aspects of the novel is the protagonist’s lifestyle with Asperger’s Syndrome and how the author portrays it. Simsion puts Tillman’s thoughts and dialogue in a way that an average person can still understand without getting too complicated. Also, Simsion doesn’t treat Tillman as a stereotypical person with Aspergers and has wishes and struggles he must face through. What is also enjoyable is how Tillman interacts in the environment he is in without making it totally outlandish.

As for the character of Rosie Jarman, she also has an entertaining personality, however, she also has some flaws that she has to work with throughout the novel. She has a very confident and carefree personality which is in great contrast with Don’s, who has a very solemn outlook and strict routine he follows each day. However, Rosie does tend to have a very hot-headed personality, which can possibly throw off some readers.

There are also different themes that the novel explores, such as that one’s partner isn’t going to be exactly as they imagine. All that matters is that both of them are able to support one another. Another theme is that life isn’t a precisely carried out routine and a person must break their routine once in a while.

Although the novel does have many wonderful aspects, there are some things that Simsion is yet to master as a story teller. The novel’s end feels too rushed, and events feel like they wrap up quicker than they should for readers. However, despite its flaws, The Rosie Project is a charming read filled with lovable protagonists and a heartwarming story and is a must read for all high school students!

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“The Rosie Project” : Book Review