A New York Times bestseller
A WASHINGTON POST “FEEL-GOOD BOOK guaranteed to lift your spirits”
“A warm, charming tale about the rewards of revealing oneself, warts and all.”
The story of a solitary green notebook that brings together six strangers and leads to unexpected friendship, and even love
Clare Pooley's next book, Iona Iverson's Rules for Commuting, is forthcoming
Julian Jessop, an eccentric, lonely artist and septuagenarian believes that most people aren't really honest with each other. But what if they were? And so he writes—in a plain, green journal—the truth about his own life and leaves it in his local café. It's run by the incredibly tidy and efficient Monica, who furtively adds her own entry and leaves the book in the wine bar across the street. Before long, the others who find the green notebook add the truths about their own deepest selves—and soon find each other In Real Life at Monica's Café.
The Authenticity Project's cast of characters—including Hazard, the charming addict who makes a vow to get sober; Alice, the fabulous mommy Instagrammer whose real life is a lot less perfect than it looks online; and their other new friends—is by turns quirky and funny, heartbreakingly sad and painfully true-to-life. It's a story about being brave and putting your real self forward—and finding out that it's not as scary as it seems. In fact, it looks a lot like happiness.
The Authenticity Project is just the tonic for our times that readers are clamoring for—and one they will take to their hearts and read with unabashed pleasure.
This wistful, humorous tale from Pooley (The Sober Diaries) follows the path of a confessional notebook that passes through the hands of several characters. When 79-year-old Julian Jessop, a withdrawn British painter, leaves a notebook in Monica's London Caf , the owner takes it upstairs to her flat. A few nights later, Monica is oppressed by chronic loneliness as she comes home to her empty apartment; she reads the opening entry of Julian's notebook, which laments the loss of his wife and envisions a model of honest public sharing, "not on the internet, but with those real people around you." Monica then contributes her own intimate entry, a chronicle of dissatisfaction about being 37 without a husband or children, and leaves the notebook for another stranger. Timothy Ford finds it and brings it on a trip to Thailand that he hopes will help him get sober. After reading Monica's entry, he decides to become her "secret matchmaker" by selecting an eligible bachelor among his fellow vacationers. He chooses Riley, a 30-year-old Australian planning to visit London, and leaves the notebook in Riley's rucksack with a note to look for her. Pooley maintains a quick, satisfying pace as the characters' simple, spontaneous acts affect each other's lives. This is a beautiful and illuminating story of self-creation.
A Cute Read
One of my longer reads because it starts slow. The second half of the book becomes a page turner and much more engaging.
Unlike some reviews I saw online, I found the first half of the book a little slow. The rest of it was very enjoyable and I caught myself giggling at some parts. Julian is one of those funny old people that just make you laugh. I think all the characters became more interesting after the first half of the book.
A beautiful human story about connection, vulnerability & honesty.