Thursday, 16 April 2020

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley @cpooleywriter #TheAuthenticityProject @TransworldBooks #TellYourTruth Guest Review @jaustenrulesok

Six strangers with one universal thing in common: their lives aren’t always what they make them out to be.
What would happen if they told the truth instead?

Julian Jessop is tired of hiding the deep loneliness he feels. So he begins The Authenticity Project – a small green notebook containing the truth about his life.
Leaving the notebook on a table in his friendly neighbourhood café, Julian never expects Monica, the owner, to track him down after finding it. Or that she’ll be inspired to write down her own story.
Little do they realize that such small acts of honesty hold the power to impact all those who discover the notebook and change their lives completely.

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley was published by Transworld Books on 2 April 

I'm delighted to welcome guest reviewer Louise Wykes to Random Things today, she'ssharing her review of the book for the #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour.

You can find Louise on Twitter @jaustenrulesok

Louise's Review of The Authenticity Project

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley was published by Bantam Press on 2nd April 2020.  I would like to thank the publisher for sending me a copy of this book to review and I’d also like to thank Anne Cater for agreeing to host my review on her blog.

Since having children I’ve discovered that the books I’ve tended to escape with are dark, psychological thrillers that explore the darkest recesses of people and society in general.  However, due to the recent darkness in our lives caused by the coronavirus and lockdown limitations I’ve felt the need to escape somewhere more pleasant and uplifting and I couldn’t have asked for a more welcome antidote to the world’s scariness and devastation than this beautifully written and charmingly perceptive book.

The Authenticity Project is a notebook left on a table in a local café in Fulham, London.  Monica, the owner of the cage picks the book up at the end of the day and starts reading what is inside the innocuous looking exercise book.  She discovers the story of Julian, an elderly customer of hers whom she is shocked to learn feels lonely and unseen in his life and he had left the notebook in the café on purpose in order to see what would happen to it.  The questions posed in the book relate to asking each writer to tell the real truth about themselves that other people in their lives wouldn’t know.  This starts a journey for the notebook which ultimately leads the characters to begin to get to know each other.

There are several points of view within this novel as each person who has written in the notebook is introduced into the story.  Unlike other multiple viewpoints I’ve read before in novels, I found that I enjoyed reading every character’s story.   The difference in viewpoints kept the momentum of the story going and helped me read this book in two, glorious and emotional sittings even when I had twins attempting to destroy my living room with their toys!

I adored this book, it touches on serious topics such as loneliness, addiction, mental health issues, the unreality of social media and how these issues can have such a huge impact on how people feel about themselves.  This book deals with serious issues but with such a warm and light touch that the book never feels preachy.  I felt as if I was with friends whilst reading this book and was waiting impatiently to see what would ultimately happen with the notebook itself as well as each character.

I loved how the book ended as it felt right and true to the characters themselves and I’m hoping that there may be a second instalment of The Authenticity Project as I feel I’d like to know more especially about Alice and her young daughter as that was a character I could truly relate to as I suffered with post-natal depression after the birth of twins nearly 3 years ago so her story particularly resonated with me.

I just want everyone I know to read this book as it is a perfect escape from these troubled times.  The writing is sublime and feels easy to read which I was really surprised at as this is a debut novel and I know that creating something so easy to read is a definite skill.  I would definitely read more from this author.

So if you are missing warm hugs and café catch ups with good friends then you couldn’t do better than picking up this fabulous, uplifting gem of a book.

Clare Pooley graduated from Newnham College, Cambridge and spent twenty years in the heady
world of advertising before becoming a full-time mum.

Clare lives in Fulham, London with her long-suffering husband, three children, dog and a cupboard filled with alcohol-free beer.

Clare is the author of the hugely popular blog, Mummy was a Secret Drinker, under the pseudonym Sober Mummy.

You can also find Clare on 

Instagram @clare_pooley

The Authenticity Project

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