The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

I finally picked this book up off my shelf after one of my wonderful bookstagram buddies suggested that I would enjoy it. And like all good bookish buddies, they were not wrong – I absolutely loved it!

This book is just like a hug in book form, a colourful collection of characters, but it is not all ‘unicorns and rainbows’. This book tackles some really difficult themes along the way, but with care and attention that results in this book being the hug (and maybe the cathartic cry) we all need.

‘The Authenticity Project’ starts as a green notebook from Julian Jessop; he feels it is time to be authentic especially as he has been lonely for 15 years. He writes down his ‘truth’, hoping it will be read and inspire others to do the same. In fact, this innocent little notebook brings together a whole community of fantastic characters who all need to face up to their ‘truth’ and the path that their lives are taking. And this, in turn, becomes a truly wonderful book.

Clare Pooley’s writing is so fantastic, and there were a few moments that really struck a chord with me. For example, the description of the smell of Elnett hairspray and how emotive a scent can be reminded me of my Grandma, which gave me a few moments to remember her, and this really made me smile.

But, also, as I finished this book, I felt like I had left some friends and I needed to know what happened next;I mean, that was after I had finished crying, as the final pages are simply beautiful, if not a little sad but also in rather a happy way. (Wow, I suspect that makes no sense – but if you pick this book up and give it a read you will understand exactly what I mean.)

Yet, as I have finished this book, I am going to really think about asking for help if I need it and listening to those conversations I have – because maybe we all need to make sure we are a little more authentic.

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