It’s a cool, overcast Monday morning on this long weekend that has so far been great in terms of weather, not too hot, not too sunny, allowing for plenty of comfortable outdoor activity. We’re supposed to be getting some rain this afternoon, but I think the lawns and gardens need it, so we can’t really complain. And I certainly can’t complain, as I sip my delicious steeped chai tea, nibble on a yummy Date Bar from City Cafe and listen to classical music courtesy of CBC Radio Two while I write this post.
On Friday my volunteer book club met to discuss The Rosie Project. This bestselling debut novel by Australian author Graeme Simsion tells the story of Don Tillman, a 39-year-old associate professor at a university in Melbourne who has decided he wants to get married. The problem is that he doesn’t have a girlfriend and has serious problems interacting with individuals in social situations (he may be on the Autism Spectrum - while it is never clearly stated, it is strongly implied). How, then, is he to meet the prefect woman? His brilliant idea is to design a questionnaire and make it available online and in paper format, which is a major component in what he refers to as “The Wife Project”. Thankfully he has two good friends to help him out with this massive undertaking, fellow professor Gene and his psychologist wife Claudia. After a few false starts, Don asks Gene to select some good candidates from the questionnaire responses, thus bringing Rosie into Don’s life. She is a most unsuitable candidate, being nearly 10 years younger than Don, a barmaid who is spontaneous and is never on time. Nonetheless, they form an unlikely friendship, and over time, Don must admit that times spent with Rosie are very nearly the best times of his life. But can Don make the emotional commitment that Rosie needs and help her overcome her own personal difficulties in order to move into a relationship? This book was recommended by one of my book club ladies, and it’s always a good idea to put something light and/or short on the list for the summer, so here it is. I had a full turnout and everyone loved this book. Here are the highlights of our discussion. One member said she really enjoyed reading it, and that she liked all the characters. She felt that Don was so genuine and loyal, and he tried so hard. They thought Rosie was also very likable, that she was “resourceful, witty and kind”, and that she was able to see beyond Don’s inflexibility and help him to relax some of his rigid habits in order to better fit into regular society and also to increase his experiences and enjoyment in life. They felt that their significant age difference did not hinder their relationship, as, intellectually, they were well-matched (no spoilers here - you’ll have to read the book to find out how this is so!). They particularly enjoyed reading about the Cocktail Scene, and felt that New York was a good fit for Don because everyone there is a bit different. And finally, they felt that Don’s friendship had a positive effect on Gene and Claudia as individuals and also on their relationship. It was definitely a good book club choice, and while I didn’t personally enjoy the book, clearly I’m in the minority, so I would recommend reading it, particularly if you are the type who likes to read the book before you see the film (which is “in development” according to the Internet Movie Database).
That’s all for this week. Enjoy the rest of the long weekend and keep reading!
Bye for now…