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The Rosie Project: A Novel

Can an academic, who lives his life by order and logic, find the perfect soulmate? When genetics professor Don Tillman devises a questionnaire to find a partner, his plans come unstuck after meeting Rosie, a bar tender who doesn’t conform to the questions on his survey. Don finds himself falling under Rosie’s spell, but can this man of science break his own rules and commit to a relationship?

Reviewed By Reviewed By Lucy Skoulding
“A clever and genuinely entertaining book. I absolutely loved it.”


The Rosie Project is a charming, funny and insightful read about a man who appears to have his life in perfect order apart from one thing: a romantic relationship.

Don Tillman is a genetics professor and, being so scientifically minded, has organised almost all of his life to optimum efficiency. He organises his time and everything he must do perfectly so that he can be as efficient and effective as possible, as he believes this is the path to happiness. The only problem is, this doesn’t really work when it comes to his love life.

Don doesn’t really have a lot of friends, as the way he lives is life is pretty different from everyone else, but that hasn’t bothered him until he realises he would quite like a romantic partner. 

After meeting with his friend and colleague Gene, and his wife Claudia, Don devises the Wife Project as a means to find himself the perfect partner. He constructs a questionnaire for all potential candidates, which he believes will help him find the right match.

As you can imagine, this doesn’t work. No human is perfect, so no human passes his questionnaire. 

Enter Rosie, a bartender who Don quite quickly decides is an unsuitable match for him based on his questionnaire. And yet over time he finds himself attracted to her. Don and Rosie form a friendship and spend a lot of time together as Don finds himself agreeing to help her find her biological father. With a potential relationship with Rosie on the cards, it’s all down to whether Don will let himself break his own rules.

The Rosie Project is light-hearted and clever but what I particularly loved about this novel is the way it explores and develops characters. A warm and feel-good book, I think it’s a fantastic read and a reminder that novels do not always have to explore harrowing themes to be deemed great writing. 

Reviewed By Lucy Skoulding