The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley, #99 review

Publication date : 4th Feburary 2020

The story of a solitary green notebook that brings together six strangers and leads to unexpected friendship, and even love

Julian Jessop, an eccentric, lonely artist and septuagenarian believes that most people aren’t really honest with each other. But what if they were? And so he writes–in a plain, green journal–the truth about his own life and leaves it in his local café. It’s run by the incredibly tidy and efficient Monica, who furtively adds her own entry and leaves the book in the wine bar across the street. Before long, the others who find the green notebook add the truths about their own deepest selves–and soon find each other in real life at Monica’s café.

The Authenticity Project‘s cast of characters–including Hazard, the charming addict who makes a vow to get sober; Alice, the fabulous mommy Instagrammer whose real life is a lot less perfect than it looks online; and their other new friends–is by turns quirky and funny, heartbreakingly sad and painfully true-to-life. It’s a story about being brave and putting your real self forward–and finding out that it’s not as scary as it seems. In fact, it looks a lot like happiness.

The Authenticity Project is just the tonic for our times that readers are clamoring for–and one they will take to their hearts and read with unabashed pleasure.

“How well do you know the people who live near you? How well do they know you? Do you even know the names of neighbours? Would you realise if they were in trouble, or hadn’t left their house in days?” wrote Julian in the begining of a plain green notebook that could easily be mistaken as a student’s notebook.

The authenticity project is a story about finding your authentication. It is told in several  characters’ perspective that are key to bringing everyone together. Everyone took turns writing in the little green notebook without actually knowing one another until they read each other’s stories. That’s when the magic started tinkering with their lives, bringing each other closer to one another. I love that it is a full circle moment. I love how the author gave each character their own good traits and bad traits, it shows that even in fiction, they’re only human. And as human, we make mistakes but those mistakes shouldn’t define us, we should learn from it and grow to be a better person. I love that because of the flaws, it made each character much more realistic and they are so colourful.

It is an adult book which is a genre I rarely read unless something intrigued me, like this book! The chapters are separated into different povs, making it short and easy to read. It made me couldn’t stop reading it because I was eager to gobble up all their stories and absorb everything about them. Found family is a theme I will forever be fond of.

This book is for readers of Before The Coffee Gets Cold and anyone out there searching for wholesome, full circle stories.

Huge thanks to @putrifariza from @times.reads for sending me this gem of a book. I’m thinking of starting my own version of authenticity project in Malaysia. Comment if you’re interested to join! I coincidentally have a green notebook I bought at BBW book fair 2 years ago. 🌿

By elysianbooksish

The Bookish Faerie who loves to read and write, and bake too

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