Friday, February 25, 2022

Book Review - The Authenticity Project; Clare Pooley

Penguin Books - 2020

The Authenticity Project is one of those books I would have passed over had it not been our book group pick for March.  I didn't love it but, I did like it enough to stick with it and found the premise unique.

Julian Jessup is and elderly widower living in a London. He is lonely and beginning to feel like he is invisible in this big city - people hurrying about, never getting a chance to really know their neighbors.  He comes up with an idea.....he leaves a green notebook in a cafe in which he has written the following:

What results is several very different strangers, all who wish to change or improve their lives are brought together when they happen upon the notebook.  For starters there are Julian 79, an artist who tends to stand out in a crowd, followed by Monica 37, the cafe owner and a former lawyer who wants more from her life as well as Timothy "Hazard" Ford,  39, an investment type who likes the good life and has a problem with drugs; he wants to change his life, Alice, 26, a mommy Instagram Influencer whose real life isn't like the one she portrays online.

This novel was released during 2020's pandemic when many people were feeling isolated and lonely.  I can now understand why it has been so popular.  Haven't most of us at one time or another longed to be a part of a small group of people who understood us and liked us for who we were? This is a book that shows us the best in people. Yes, the characters.are quirky but, the story just works. As each new person reads the entries left behind, not only are they able relate but, they are also more empowered to share their own stories.  I wasn't sure I'd like this one, especially when "Hazard" was introduced toward the beginning but, in the end I even warmed up to him.

Although I didn't get a chance to attend the book group meeting, I did hear back that everyone seemed to enjoy this one.  Have you read this one?

Rating - 4/5 stars


  1. That really is an interesting premise, I wonder if any of those reading it have tried something similar.

  2. I agree with Brian. It is an interesting premise and I do wonder if anyone has tried it and what the results might have been. I tend to think if I ran across such a notebook I would probably ignore it!

  3. I'm a curious sort Dorothy, but, I agree, even if I read it, I would have left if and moved on LOL

  4. Interesting, I wonder how many people who read the book will try their own experiment. May try to find a copy.

  5. I like the sound of this one. Not sure what I would do if I found such a notebook to be honest. I'm a friendly person and will speak to anyone when I'm out, but my neighbourhood is not a very friendly one, sadly.

    1. Cath, our neighbors keep to themselves as well. Just basically a wave to a few them but, not getting to know them. Fortunately, my SIL is very very close.

  6. It's funny, the story reminds me a bit of blogging. We all write, put it out there in the world, and hope we make connections with others who have like interests. Luckily it works!

  7. I haven't read this or heard of it but I do like the sound of it. It sounds like an interesting premise and definitely timely.


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