Title: The Authenticity Project
Author: Clare Pooley
Blurb (taken from Goodreads):
“A story about a solitary green notebook that brings together six strangers and leads to unexpected friendship, and even love–think Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine meets Love, Actually.
“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.
In these extraordinary times, you want something nice to take your mind off of things, and this book does just that. The Authenticity Project is a sweet book, and one that just makes you feel good and believe that everything will be okay in the end. It’s positive and really reflects on the human being: its highs and lows, and its successes and secrets. It encourages being your true self and actually promotes kindness and celebrates the opportunities that we have to do good things for other people just because we can.
My only qualm with the book was the pacing. There are a lot of discussions throughout the book – pages upon pages of chit chat as characters meet and bond with one another. If that’s your cup of tea then that’s fine, but it dragged a bit for me in certain spots.
Still, the premise is beautiful and the story ties together at the end in such a fantastic manner. You will put down this book wanting to spread some love around the world, and if that isn’t just fantastic in this current state of the world, then I don’t know what is.
I’d like to thank Penguin Random House Canada for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.