The Rosie Project is an interesting book by Graeme Simsion. It’s a romance novel, but it’s written in first person and 100% from the man’s POV. Not just any man though ~ the narrator Don is on the spectrum. He makes plans and lists, scheduling his time for maximum efficiency. Although he is very judgmental about other people’s inefficiencies, brainpower, and BMI, which could have been annoying to read, the narrator infuses it all with humor, and Don is often able to engage in a bit of inadvertent self-mockery. Those factors make TRP fun.
At the start, Don begins a “wife project,” which reminds me of dating site questionnaires and tests. There’s nothing that weird about Don’s method, except he devises his own complex questionnaire rather than going online and doing a canned version. Of course, the method fails, as they do, because love doesn’t spontaneously generate from a pile of matching scores. I don’t mind the predictability of this because it is a romance, after all, and true to formula, but at a certain point I become a little bored.
I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say that The Rosie Project turns repetitive toward the end. It also suffers the fate of all first-person romances, which is that while we are treated to Don’s thoughts and feelings in glorious detail, we’re never in the heroine’s POV, so her moods and actions are as inexplicable to us as they are to Don. What are we supposed to make of Rosie’s abrupt changes of mind? Idk, because she may or may not be telling Don the truth ~ perhaps she isn’t sure of it herself. Don has a difficult time processing other people’s confusing behaviors, and since we are in his head, it’s hard for us to do that as well. In that sense, it may be a good portrayal of someone on the spectrum, yet it lags a bit as a romance novel.
Given that, TRP was entertaining overall and I recommend it.
Image from Pixabay.
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