• April 16, 2019
  • 7:00 PM

We’ll be reading “The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion.

For any questions you can call 780-663-3999 or email Kim at librarian@mcphersonlibrary.ab.ca or see our website at www.mcphersonlibrary.ab.ca.


Don Tillman is an Australian genetics professor who has spent his days organizing his life with the expectation that it will reduce inefficiency, improve himself as a person, and make him an all-around happier person. He does not fit in well with others, which has kept Don from dating and having a satisfying romantic life – something that confounds him, as he believes that his IQ, physical health, finances, and social status should otherwise make him an appealing mate. After spending time with his best friend and womanizing colleague Gene and his wife Claudia, Don comes up with the idea of the Wife Project, a questionnaire that would help find the perfect mate. This turns out to be something more easily done in theory, as his questionnaire fails to produce a satisfactory woman and alienates many potential candidates.

Soon after Gene introduces him to Rosie, a bartender whom he quickly eliminates as unsuitable per his criteria. Despite this, Don finds himself quickly drawn to her and even goes so far to agree to help her find her biological father, a man that her mother slept with after a graduation party – a task Don terms the “Father Project”. Her mother is dead and as such, Rosie cannot ask her for the answer and can only go on the information that her father was an attendee at the party. The two manage to eliminate most of the attendees via DNA testing, which Don secretly does in the university laboratory under the guise of it being an official project. As time progresses Rosie begins to challenge more and more of Don’s habits and assumptions, and he’s surprised when she reveals that she’s working as a bartender in order to pay her way through university while she works on her doctorate in psychology. He also finds that part of the reason that Rosie is so desperate to find her biological father is because of her unsatisfactory relationship with her stepfather Phil. Don also finally meets a woman who fulfills all of his criteria, but he discovers that he is completely unattracted to her.

Eventually, the Father Project eliminates all but a select few people, two of which require that Don and Rosie travel to New York City. Once there Rosie forces Don to abandon his schedules in exchange for a spontaneous trip through the city, which he finds that he truly enjoys. This culminates in the two almost having sex, only for Rosie to change her mind because she’s unsure that a relationship with Don could actually work out. The two return to Australia where Don continues the Father Project and realizes that his friend Gene may actually be Rosie’s father since he also attended the party and is also very promiscuous. After some thinking Don decides that he will test Gene and that he will also try to persuade Rosie to marry him, as he has discovered that he is genuinely attracted to her. Despite trying to change to fit what he believes she needs, Don is rejected by Rosie when he says that he does not feel love like others do. However this rejection causes Don to realize that he actually does love Rosie. He also decides to confront her father Phil over her father issues, as Rosie felt neglected because she believed that Phil prioritized his career over her and failed to fulfill a promise to go to Disneyland, a move that she views as representative of their relationship as a whole. Rosie inevitably discovers that Gene may be her real father and she confronts him over this with his wife Claudia, who attempted to ignore his womanizing. Don arrives at the scene just in time to watch Phil punch Gene, after which Don and Rosie reconcile and she agrees to marry him. She also reconciles with her father and after she marries Don, the two of them move to America to start anew. The book ends with Don running a final test on a sample of Phil’s DNA, which confirms that he was her biological father all along, and the whole issue was raised by Rosie’s mother because of Gene’s negligence in explaining to his students the rules of eye colour inheritance.

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