☆☆➹⁀☆ 5 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆
About the Book:
“Everybody lies about their lives. What would happen if you shared the truth?” This is the question that Julian Jessop, an eccentric, seventy-nine-year-old artist, poses within a pale green exercise book that he labels The Authenticity Project, before leaving it behind in Monica’s Café. When Monica discovers Julian’s abandoned notebook, not only does she add her own story to the book, she is determined to find a way to help Julian feel less lonely.
And so it goes with the others who find the green notebook that will soon contain their deepest selves. It will also knit the group together In Real Life at Monica’s Cafe, where they’ll discover the thrill and sometime-risk of being completely honest–and, for some, find unexpected love.
With a cast of characters who are by turns quirky and funny, heartbreakingly sad and painfully true-to-life, The Authenticity Project is a novel readers will take to their hearts and read with unabashed pleasure.
For an unknown reason, septuagenarian Julian, challenges his neighbors to write of their true selves in an anonymous journal. While all the characters who find the journal, approach the idea of adding their story with trepidation, they do eventually start writing. And with putting their truth to paper, they set in motion a chain of events that leads to new friends, neighbors who care, and a new lease on life.
The Authenticity Project shows its characters at their most raw and vulnerable, as well as their most charitable and hopeful. Their journal entries become life changing. The story reflects lies we tell ourselves as much as the hopes we think we are supposed to have.
The characters are wonderful. I loved the originality of the premise and the story layout. I was hooked by the anticipation of how the next journal writer would fit in with the rest of the characters. There is a shocking twist and an unexpected denouement. I thoroughly enjoyed this story about honesty, friendship and community.
About the Author: Clare Pooley graduated from Newnham College, Cambridge and spent twenty years in the heady world of advertising.
When Clare realised that she was drinking way too much, she quit, and started a blog called Mummy was a Secret Drinker, which became a memoir – The Sober Diaries.
The Authenticity Project, Clare’s first novel, was inspired by her experience of telling the truth about her life.
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