Thanks to Ann Cater of Random Things Tours for organising this blog tour and to Clare Pooley, Transworld Publishing and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.
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Everybody lies about their lives. What would happen if you shared the truth instead?
Julian Jessop is living a lie. He’s lonely but refuses to speak to neighbours. He loved his wife when she was alive, but he didn’t tell her. (In fact, he wasn’t very kind to her at all.) He feels invisible to the world but he doesn’t want to go out. But now he wants to be honest. So he writes his truth in a small green notebook and leaves it in his local cafe.
Monica gave up a high-flying career as a lawyer to open her own cafe, but it isn’t going as well as she hoped. On finding the notebook, she’s both inspired to write her own truth and to help Julian out of his loneliness.
Little does Julian know that his one small act is about to bring a whole group of people together as they discover the power, and the danger, of honesty.
At some point in our lives we have all likely been guilty of posting those social media status’ and photographs showing how wonderful our lives are. And at times they really are wonderful but what we, (as a human race) often fail to divulge is that sometimes we feel lonely, lost, overwhelmed, undervalued, unloved, unsure, invisible and a whole host of other emotions. What this novel really brings to the front of your mind is just what would happen if people were honest? No glossy photos or perfect family status updates – just the pure, raw truth about how we feel some days. Imagine the powerful solidarity that would come from knowing that others out there experience the world the same way as you, that we all have these feelings. And imagine if we used our empathy to each out to others. How life changing would it all be?
The Authenticity Project begins with Julian, who decides to spill his feelings into a little notebook and then leave for others to find. what follow is a beautiful narrative about friendships and the real side to human interaction, truth and emotion and it’s just stunning to read about.
Of course, this is a novel and has some creativity has been taken to ensure all the threads of the story is woven together perfectly. Each character has their own demons, flaws, regrets etc and by revealing them they are able to come to terms and work through their own issues with help from a group of strangers.
The character development is fascinating and I loved being part of each character’s journey. As the book is transported around the areas, the characters’ lives become entwined.
The plot is is clever and so thought provoking and despite some rough going – is very heartwarming and uplifting too.
Such a wonderful story of human connection, compassion and ways in which people can come together if we just let out guards down a little.
Author Bio – Clare Pooley
Clare Pooley graduated from Cambridge and spent twenty years in the heady world of advertising before becoming a full-time mum. She is the author of the hugely popular blog, Mummy was a Secret Drinker, under the pseudonym Sober Mummy and her memoir, The Sober Diaries was published by Hodder in 2017 to critical acclaim. Her blog has had over two million hits and she recently gave a TEDx talk titled Making Sober Less Shameful. Clare’s debut novel The Authenticity Project is inspired by the time Clare spent in advertising, a world where the line between authenticity and fiction is constantly blurred, and by her own experience of exposing truth about her seemingly perfect life in her memoir.
Speaking about the book, Clare commented:
“Four years ago, my world, as portrayed on social media, seemed pretty perfect; in reality, it was falling apart. When I finally plucked up the courage to tell the truth, it transformed my life, and helped many other people. That got me thinking: everybody lies about their lives. What would happen if we told the truth instead? Perhaps nothing, but maybe something magical. That thought led to The Authenticity Project. I hope that the book gets everyone asking themselves ‘what truth would I tell?’”
Clare writes from her kitchen table in Fulham, London where she lives with her longsuffering husband, three children, dog and an African pygmy hedgehog.