This book is divine.
Don’s hyper-awareness of himself and his shortcomings contributes to his lack of connection with almost everyone in his life. Don knows that he behaves differently to other people around him and convinces himself that this is OK. He does feel that there is a gap in his pretty perfect, controlled life – he requires a wife. Result – The Wife Project: a questionnaire divided by Don to cut out the time-wasters and incompatibles.
Rosie is ‘provided’ as a candidate by Don’s friend, Gene, even though Gene knows that Rosie meets none of Don’s strict criteria. Rosie is a free-spirit, a smoker, and is not at all punctual. Don decides immediately that she is good company, but not wife material, and proceeds on that basis.
As a woman, reading this made me laugh out loud so often. Many of Don’t characteristics and behaviours are those of my husband, my dad, and many of my male work colleagues. Funny foibles that make for misunderstandings and disagreements. Rules, set ideas, crazy un-workable notions of relationships and society.
The writing is clever and concise, and I never felt that I was bored or waiting to get to the end. And although the ending became obvious to me about three-quarters of the way, dear Don takes a little while to get up to speed. Don is delightful – both obsessive and naive. Rosie is gorgeous – unpredictable and emotional. Together they make an unforgettable team.