The Rosie Project
Simon & Schuster, Jun 3 2014, $15.99
Genetics Professor Don Tillman knows that that having Asperger’s syndrome causes him to think differently than the neurotypical masses; especially most of the duds in his classes who prefer astrology over DNA. He also thinks his genetic variant provides him with advantages but also leaves him without a woman in his life; as he never gets a second date.
Turning forty, Don applies his need for nano detail and his superior organization and focus skills to create the Wife Project. His questionnaire is designed to eliminate those unacceptable due to an annoying trait like smoking or the wrong ice cream. When Don and Rosie Jarman the bartender-student meet; his reaction to her is that she is pretty but way too fiery and chaotic for an Aspie like him who bone marrow deep needs repetitive order. Rosie pleads with the professor to help her learn who her biological father is. As the Aspie and the NT work the Father Project, he revises the Wife Project into The Rosie Project.
This is a terrific look at how wide the human tent can be with the acceptance of neurodiversity of people wired differently; as Dashiell Hamett says in The Thin Man: “The problem with putting two and two together is that sometimes you get four, and sometimes you get twenty-two.” Having raised an Aspie son, I believe Graeme Simsion captures the essence of those with the syndrome who can drive you insane and leave you laughing in nanoseconds, but especially as they become a teen and an adult the desperate need for a significant other. Although readers know what will happen, the journey from the mind to the heart is superb.