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Read-out-loud laughter begins by page two in Simsion's debut novel about a 39-year-old genetics professor with Asperger's-but utterly unaware of it-looking to solve his Wife Problem. Don Tillman cannot find love; episodes like the Apricot Ice Cream Disaster prevent so much as a second date with a woman. His devised solution is the Wife Project: dating only those who "match" his idiosyncratic standards as determined by an exacting questionnaire. His plans take a backseat when he meets Rosie, a bartender who wants him to help her determine her birth father's identity. His rigidity and myopic worldview prevents him from seeing her as a possible love interest, but he nonetheless agrees to help, even though it involves subterfuge and might jeopardize his position at the university. What follows are his utterly clueless, but more often thoroughly charming exploits in exploring his capacity for romance. Helping Tillman are his only two friends, an older, shamelessly philandering professor, and the professor's long-suffering wife, who may soon draw the line in the sand. With Asperger's growing visibility in pop culture in recent years, as on CBS's The Big Bang Theory, this novel is perfectly timed. Agent: David Forrer, Inkwell Management. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* Genetics professor Don Tillman's ordered, predictable life is thrown into chaos when love enters the equation in this immensely enjoyable novel. Never good with social cues, Don explains his difficulty empathizing with others, which he forthrightly says is a defining symptom of the autism spectrum, as a result of his brain simply being wired differently. Diagnosis is not the issue here, as the reader is rooting for Don as he searches for ways to fit in. With his fortieth birthday approaching, he designs a questionnaire to find a compatible female life partner using his overriding devotion to logic. But he finds his quest competing with the request of a woman to discover the identity of her biological father. The protagonist is passingly similar to that of Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003), but Simsion's first novel is not as dark, focusing instead on the humor and significance of what makes us human. Don is used to causing amusement or consternation in others, but as his self-awareness and understanding grow, so do his efforts to behave more appropriately. Determined and unintentionally sweet, Don embarks on an optimistic and redemptive journey. Funny, touching, and hard to put down, The Rosie Project is certain to entertain even as readers delve into deep themes. For a book about a logic-based quest for love, it has a lot of heart.--Thoreson, Bridget Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Don Tillman is a scientist. He thinks logically and approaches the world in a similar manner. Hence, when he needs to find a wife, he creates a long and involved questionnaire to winnow out unsuitable choices. (His requirements: nonsmoker, body mass index under 26, punctual, mathematically literate, a meat eater, and so on.) The 16-page, double-sided, scientifically valid document, he believes, offers his best chance of finding the perfect partner. That is, until he meets the fiery and intelligent Rosie Jarman. Rosie, who doesn't meet any of his requirements, is trying to track down her biological father, and she needs Don's expertise in genetics to do it. The two pursue their quests in tandem, but gradually, as their relationship deepens, their missions converge. VERDICT Readers will root for Don and Rosie throughout Simsion's delightful romantic comedy. Fans of the TV show The Big Bang Theory will see shades of Sheldon and Penny in these characters. [See Prepub Alert, 4/29/13; this title was also touted at the fifth annual BEA Librarians Shout and Share panel.-Ed.]-Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., OH (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.