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leaning on the side of wonder

The Rosie Project

The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion

Overall, I found The Rosie Project to be unique, charming, well-written, humorous, heartfelt, but sadly, rather rushed at the end. As I read, I kept thinking how lovely & fun & fresh & endearing, and "this is a 5! this is a 5!" But then then the very end... which is lovely, but abrupt & could use a lot more fleshing out. "ugh. 3-star ending." But I absolutely loved Don's narrative, his naivety, and his willingness to keep going in the face of rejection and the supporting cast of characters are excellent.

There are a few areas that could have been more thoroughly explored: the "bad times" that Don mentions, his family & his sister's death, and quite frankly, the sex. I felt like Simsion was too chicken to give us the details, which was too bad because their kissing scenes were so well-written & did a fantastic job of building the UST. The dialogue is tight, with so many excellent one-liners, and I was surprised that I liked the first-person narrative as much as I did. It was perfect for Don. I'd really like more Don & Rosie (& Claudia & Gene!)

'Professor Tillman. Most of us here are not scientists, so you may need to be a little less technical.’ 
This sort of thing is incredibly annoying. People can tell you the supposed characteristics of a Gemini or a Taurus and will spend five days watching a cricket match, but cannot find the interest or the time to learn the basics of what they, as humans, are made up of.

'If you really love someone,' Claudia continued, 'you have to be prepared to accept them as they are. Maybe you hope that one day they get a wake-up call and make the changes for their own reasons.' 

'You’re saying your mother engaged in unprotected sex outside her primary relationship?’

‘With some other student,’ replied Rosie. ‘While she was dating my’ – at this point Rosie raised her hands and made a downwards movement, twice, with the index and middle fingers of both hands – ‘father. My real dad’s a doctor. I just don’t know which one. Really, really pisses me off.’

I was fascinated by the hand movements and silent for a while as I tried to work them out. Were they a sign of distress at not knowing who her father was? If so, it was not one I was familiar with. And why had she chosen to punctuate her speech at that point … of course! Punctuation! ‘Quotation marks,’ I said aloud as the idea hit me.


‘You made quotation marks around “father” to draw attention to the fact that the word should not be interpreted in the usual way. Very clever.