Book Review: The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

Looking for your next read? Check out The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley, reviewed by Fulco Library staff, Swalena G.

Most people expect their journals to be kept private. Many of us would be horrified if others, especially strangers, started reading our innermost thoughts. However, this is not the case with Julian Jessop, an aging artist whose days of prominence are long gone. Julian leaves his notebook at a local café in London with details of how lonely he is and disconnected from his old life. When the café owner, Monica, finds his notebook, she adds her own entry. This starts an amusing chain of events bringing together a disparate group of people.

Julian’s unassuming notebook touches the lives of those who seem to have it all together, but are desperately seeking connections. There is Riley, the easygoing landscaper visiting from Australia who people dismiss as being carefree. Hazard, a recovering addict finding recovery harder than he thought. Alice runs a successful mommy social media account, but her life is not as idyllic as she portrays. Finally, there is Monica, the café owner whose rigid life plan is keeping her from living her life. Each character is drawn together through the notebook until their secrets threaten to destroy their new tentative friendships.

The Authenticity Project was published before the current pandemic, but seems relevant to the isolation many have experienced from family and friends. Like the characters, people are seeking to establish connections now that their old social network has been disrupted. This novel leaves you with the hopeful note that friends can be found in the most unlikely places.

Check out The Authenticity Project on Libby, or from your branch's shelves with your library card today!

The Authenticity Project

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