The Rosie Project is told from Dr. Tillman's point of view. Don Tillman is socially awkward. He realizes this but is never quite sure where he went wrong.
Tillman's own views of the world are quite rigid and he has little tolerance for deviations. To Tillman, spontaneity is not a virtue but a flaw that can be "cured" with discipline and planning. Yet, to his chagrin, social mishaps keep happening.
Let me pause here. Dr. Tillman is a genetics professor and one of the first lectures we see him give is about Asperger's syndrome. He may or may not also have the syndrome, but I believe this is not the point. Many of us have what we believe to be "completely reasonable" ideas about how things ought to be. I don't believe anyone can be objective about their own perceptions of the world.
Part of the fun of the journey with Dr. Tillman is that you can see how he falls into social faux pas. He seems used to the social mishaps "by now." One of my favorite scenes is when he is going to meet Rosie at a very "posh" restaurant and she is not early. (Which means to Tillman, of course, that she is not "on time.") In a matter of minutes a misunderstanding erupts to an embarrassing scene just as Rosie shows up.
"No one was seriously hurt," Tillman says, "but it was an awkward social situation, and I could feel my mind shutting down." When Rosie looks to Tillman, he says, "You're late, we have a social problem." [Of course, that's an understatement.]
Rosie, is a smart, self confident woman with an edge. She has bite. I love that. She is very comfortable with spontaneity. In fact, she sometimes insists on it. Rosie contradicts everything Tillman believes to be the "correct" approach to the world. Their interactions become magic.
I'd love to know if you've read it what your favorite part(s) are. I re-read much of it today just for fun.