I recently picked up The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley when working curbside at the Main Library. I know we aren’t supposed to judge books by the covers, but in these non-browsing, limited-contact times, I saw this bright covered book on the new book display, judged it and thought I’d give it a try. It looked contemporary, fun and interesting…and it was!
Julian Jessop, a lonely artist who retired from life following the death of his beloved wife and muse, Mary, decides to share his truth in the hopes of helping others. Using an old school notebook, his confession starts with “How well do you know the people who live near you? How well do they know you? Do you even know the names of your neighbours? Would you realize if they were in trouble, or hadn’t left their house for days?”
Julian pours out his heart, titles the slightly battered notepad “The Authenticity Project”, and decides to leave it in his favourite bakery-café for the next person to read, learn from, and possibly be inspired to make a few changes for the good. The owner of the café, Monica, discovers it, reads it, and her life is changed forever.
We meet some interesting characters as the notepad passes from person to person. They add their own stories and inevitably their lives become intertwined, thanks to The Authenticity Project.
This is a light, fun, heartwarming book…a feel-good book, and boy couldn’t we all use more of those right now.
This is Clare Pooley’s second book but it’s her first novel. I hope it isn’t her last.
— Sandi H.