The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley
The story of a solitary green notebook that brings together six strangers and leads to unexpected friendship, and even love
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.
I loved the concept of this book, that of someone writing their authentic truth in a book and leaving it for others to find and do the same. In an age of social media and comparing our lives to what other people present, this idea is appealing.
And the book does a great job of delving into it!
I loved the cast of characters and how they were woven together all because of the little green notebook — which is almost a character itself — and how it made them want to connect and help and be authentic. The characters were fun and their stories were compelling. They make mistakes, they take chances, they help and look out for one another. I wanted to wander down the street and stop for tea at Monica’s coffee shop myself.
This really is a charming book about connection and the author did a great job exploring this theme. It’s easy to read and get lost in on a cozy weekend.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a review copy of this book.
Today I have Claire Fullerton on my blog. Her book is set in Galway, Ireland, the place my grandparents were born, so I am thrilled to have her here talking about her book.
Hello Claire. What book are you promoting right now?
My second novel with Vinspire Publishing, which is contemporary fiction, set on the western coast of Ireland, and entitled “Dancing to an Irish Reel.”
How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
The idea for the novel came from the year I spent living and working in Galway, Ireland. It was an incredibly pivotal and eye-opening year for me, as I lived as an outsider in rural Ireland, and everything was new and fascinating. I took much of this story from true events and based some of the characters on people I met and worked alongside. The story is fiction, but set in the area where I actually lived.
Tell us about your writing process. How do you fuel your writing?
I have now written three novels, and my process has been the same throughout all of them. I treat the project as a full-time job, which means I am at my desk, coffee in hand, first thing in the morning and typically stop around four in the afternoon, but I do take breaks. What fuels my writing is having the complete story in hand and the motivation to craft it as a continuing project until the first draft is finished. Then I set the draft aside for a couple of days, and go back through it line-by-line with a fresh perspective. I typically go through my manuscript five or six times, and have found the trick to be retaining an overview of what is on every page. I like to be as familiar with the manuscript as if it were a one thousand word essay because this lends to continuity with an eye towards the ebb and flow of the entire story. Read more