“Funny, charming and heart-warming, this debut is a gem of a novel about a rather awkward university professor’s search for love. I loved this unconventional romance.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
A perfect book for when you want to laugh out loud!
Featuring Don Tillman,a genetics professor at a Melbourne university, who isn’t schooled in the typical social graces and has trouble figuring out the nuances of how to behave in company. He is a stickler for the rules,a huge believer in the benefits of organising and scheduling everything he possibly can and very rattled by change of any sort. Sarcasm goes undetected by Don who takes everything said to him completely literally.
When, in the middle of a casual conversation, he is struck with the idea of having a questionnaire to evaluate women he interacts with as potential wife candidates, the wife project is born. He has made sure to include questions that will help him assess every possible thing.. Moderate drinking is ok while smoking is a complete no no. She has to be someone who is always on time though early at times is ok and so on and so forth.
While he indulges in online and speed dating, trying to get responses to his questionnaire, Rosie enters his life. The very antithesis of the person Don believes himself to be compatible with, Rosie shakes him out of his routine, getting him to do things he never thought he would be comfortable with and making him go with the flow.
Don tells himself he is only spending time with Rosie to help her on a project of her own. But why does that time figure in the list of best moments in his life so far in his mind? He doesn’t know.
The book provides much food for thought in the way Don, perceived as unable to care or love or empathize, analyses what is wrong with the so-called normal people around him who don’t mean what they say, never do what they should and call him odd and disruptive for mentioning the obvious.
Also endearing are Don’s attempts to understand what will make him ‘capable of loving’ and receiving love like others when he realizes that he is indeed different.
In fact, the world would be a better place if we all imbibed some of Don’s simplicity and directness.
The subtle humour and dead pan reflections of Don as he embarks on a journey he doesn’t understand make this a very refreshing read. As does the premise that we may all be different but the laws of love should be universal.
Added 20th August 2020