Hello and welcome to another addition of Between the Lines. If you are new to our link up, welcome! This is a fun place to come and share your thoughts on a book that we have all read and answer some discussion questions. Last month’s discussion was really interesting. You guys opened up my eyes to different perspectives from Dark Places that I didn’t think about before, so thank you!
February’s book was chosen by Anne (my lovely co-host here) and I am so happy that she chose The Rosie Project.
This is the story of Don, a sufferer of Asperger’s, who sets out on a mission to find his wife. What drew me to Don was the similarity between him and Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. The way the book is written is from his perspective, and I just love how eloquently the author was able to portray Don. It took me a while to get it out of my head that Don was not Sheldon (there is a huge similarity between how they talk and interact), but once I did, I was able to really get into the story.
Don meets Rosie randomly. He thinks he’s meeting a prospective wife from The Wife Project that Gene (his best friend) sets up for him. Well, it doesn’t quite turn out that way, but Rosie ends up showing Don that life is not all about scheduled dinners and running everything on a schedule. She shows him how life can be just perfectly fine when you get rid of all those limitations and pressures, and just live.
During their escapades, Don finds out that Rosie never knew her biological father, and so the two set off on a life changing adventure complete with DNA tests, trans-Pacific flights (is that even a thing?), and problems along the way. This book was truly heartwarming and proves that you can find love in the most random places.
1. Were you surprised at the ultimate revelation of Rosie’s biological father? Did you suspect someone else?
I’m going to be honest here. I still am not completely sure who Rosie’s father is. It wasn’t clearly spelled out (at least I didn’t get it), but if what I read is correct, her father was Gene. Anne and I actually emailed back and forth about this because I just couldn’t figure it out. It wasn’t that I was surprised, but I just couldn’t put my finger on who it was supposed to be.
I really never suspected anyone. I feel like her father could have been any of those men that her mother knew in Law School. So, it really could have been anyone. I did have a feeling it was someone who knew about her, but I can’t tell you how I came to that conclusion – because I don’t know if Gene knew she was his daughter.
2. Do Don’s Asperger’s conditions help him or hinder him? Does Don’s having autism offer any advantages in his life?
This is a hard question. I don’t know anyone who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s or Autism, so I really can’t say if this helped him or hindered him. I think it did hinder the way that he interacted with other people – especially women – and I think it made him conscientious that he was different than other people. But he also didn’t know that he had Asperger’s until he met and started a friendship with Rosie.
I think having autism led Don to be who he was. He might have changed a few things at the end, but essentially he was the same person he was in the beginning of the story. I also think that it helped because he could speak his mind and he didn’t really care what other people thought of him.
3. Do you feel happy for Don when he gets rid of some of his unique mannerisms in order to win Rosie or do you feel that he lost a part of himself?
While I don’t agree with changing yourself for another person, I do think that he bettered himself because of Rosie. He started limiting his weekly menu to help him get off a schedule every now and then. He started to cook new things and try different restaurants. She also seemed to help him feel more comfortable with himself and with society. So, I do feel happy for him in that respect. I can’t imagine having every day planned out down to the minute, so for him to be able to let part of that go is a huge step in the right direction to me.
4. Does Gene get his comeuppance? What do you think of his marriage situation?
Oh Gene. First of all, I had to Google comeuppance. It means punishment if you were curious. Do I think that Gene got his punishment? Well, if I was his wife, I would have left him a long time ago. I don’t care who you are, but I do not agree with an open marriage. If it works for you, great. But if it doesn’t, then why are you in one in the first place? I think that his wife didn’t mind it at first, but I can see how tiring it would be – and how unfair it would be for her.
March’s book is All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Come link up with us on March 17th to discuss this great book.
A word of warning: This book is a bit on the long side – 530 pages – so start now!
Here are our discussion questions:
1. When Werner and Jutta first hear the Frenchman on the radio, he concludes his broadcast by saying “Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever”. How do you think this phrase relates to the overall message of the story?
2. Why do you think Marie-Laure gave Werner the little iron key? Why might Werner have gone back for the wooden house but left the Sea of Flames?
3. The author writes, “To shut your eyes is to guess nothing of blindness.” What did you learn or realize about blindness through Marie-Laure’s perspective? Do you think her being blind gave her any advantages?
4. The narration moves back and forth both in time and between different characters. How do you think the experience would have been different if the story had been told entirely in chronological order?
Now it is time to linkup! Share your thoughts about The Rosie Project!