The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley is a warm, uplifting book filled with wonderful characters which you will want to get all wrapped up in. I promise that it won’t disappoint.
Desperate to confess the deep loneliness he feels, Julian – real age 84 not the 79 he likes to pretend, and no longer the flamboyant artist he claims to be – writes down the truth about his life in a small green notebook.
Calling it The Authenticity Project and leaving it on the table at Monica’s Café – a warm, friendly place where Julian escapes at his most lonely moments – he never expects Monica to find it and track him down.
Or that as the book is passed on, it’s not only Julian who will find it is time to face his truth.
Loved loved loved
I adored the message behind this book and everything else about it. It’s genuinely a warming read, and I’ve been looking for something similar to How to Find Love in a Bookshop (my review here), and The Authenticity Project ticked all the boxes and more.
The concept is quite simple, but the book holds much more. You will easily find yourselves dragged into the lives of these characters and pondering their next steps. It was realistic, and each story had their own unique twist, all leading back to the message of authenticity. Although quite an unlikely bunch to be together, it was still fantastic the way it all linked and ended.
With each chapter, we hear from a different character – not usually fond of this format, it worked well, and the personalities came out clearly. I found I got even more attached to some because you could see things through their eyes and grow with them.
It’s such a feel-good book, that although I cried at the ending (yes, me, crying, I know!!), I definitely gave the book a hug. I’m not weird, it’s just exactly what I needed and so wonderfully done, that it deserved it.
I could have read lots more on these characters, and I’d love to see it made into a film. Even though the characters jump out from the page as they are brought to life so well, it’d be such a fabulous cinematography experience.
It teaches the characters to be more authentic and kind to one another – teaching the reader life lessons too. The synopsis claims the novel is “about the importance of truth, connection and friendship in a society that continues to put up barriers”, and I couldn’t summarise it any better.
It also had a lovely twist, which was great and made me gasp – it was entirely unexpected in a good way, and just added another spark to the story.
A book I’d recommend to all. Loved loved loved. Sign me up for more Clare Pooley books please.
The Authenticity Project, Clare Pooley, RRP £12.99 (hardback); Book Depository
Publisher: Bantam Press