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The Authenticity Project

A Novel
Written by: Clare Pooley
Narrated by: Anna Cordell
Length: 10 hrs and 25 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (81 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“A warm, charming tale about the rewards of revealing oneself, warts and all.” (People)

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 listeners are clamoring for - and one they will take to their hearts and listen to with unabashed pleasure. 

©2020 Clare Pooley (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

“A well-suited subject for the Instagram era, this book makes you realize that no one's life is what it seems.” (Good Morning America)

"An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics." (Kirkus Reviews)

“I loved The Authenticity Project. It has such an intriguing premise, wonderful characters and is utterly truthful about the lies that we all tell. It’s a clever, uplifting book that entertains and makes you think.” (Sophie Kinsella, number-one New York Times best-selling author)  

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

A perfect modern day novel

An original and imaginative story, real characters that are like able and quirky, and a genuinely uplifting message. A book that addresses the loneliness of modern society and offers some authentic and beautiful possibilities.

2 people found this helpful

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How well do we know each other?

This is a book about people who are living one life while secretly hoping for a better one. How they meet and gradually change each other. The characters are beautifully drawn and feel very real. There are plenty of unexpected twists that keep things interesting. This would be a perfect book club book. First question - how well do we really know each other? Loved it all and will read it again.

1 person found this helpful

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Lovely story.

I really enjoyed this book and how all of the characters came together. Have to admit I shed a tear at the end.

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A nice, light read

I loved the story, it was charming and uplifting. Everything tied up nicely together, and it was not predictable or stale. There are a few really insightful moments and on the whole I really enjoyed it!

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Clever Premise

Very enjoyable. Warm and comfortable story that was perfect for getting through an uncomfortable time.

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Uplifting

A great story about community and the joy one can find when we seek to help each other.

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Wow!

I absolutely loved this book ❤ I found myself looking forward to listening to it and rationing the time towards the end as I didnt want it to end. Love, love loved it!!!!

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  • Lucie W.
  • 2020-02-20

such a good book

The narrator was excellent! Good story line. No boring parts at all! She did all the different accents so well and the characters appearances had such detail that I could picture them as she read their parts.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Storytellersrus
  • 2020-02-08

Slow start but stick with it

I was impatient with this novel in the beginning. The set up was quite complicated and not that compelling. I managed to keep listening and was rewarded with a deeply moving story. Sometimes insights were so targeted, I gasped. I believe I forgave my self for feeling some of the feelings expressed. Well done, Clare Pooley!

Anna Cordell added much to the reading of this tale. Her emphases made moments even more poignant.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ashleyh
  • 2020-02-14

Wonderfully written, soul food for your ears.

This book was enchanting. The characters are your friends instantly and I didn't want the book to end.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alexandra V.
  • 2020-05-21

Importance of connection

What a wonderful story ... showing the inaccuracies of assumptions and snap judgments, the importance of connection and a sense of use and purpose, ... and laugh out loud funny. Loved the characters and the impressions they left on each other’s lives. Quite a gem.

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  • Sim1 Indigo
  • 2020-05-15

Great audiobook

The plot is entertaining, the characters relatable. The voice is pleasant, I enjoyed the British and Australian accents.

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  • teaparties
  • 2020-05-14

Smitten

I loved this book. It kept me on my toes, all the characters were so endearing and clever. Cleverly written and read. Thank you for such a beautiful story.

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  • jmar
  • 2020-04-24

Nice, Comforting Read for Uncertain Times

The narration was perfect. I needed something with an uplifting theme to help me escape from thinking about the state of the world (not trying to be dramatic). This was the ticket! I truly enjoyed the author's character development.

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  • Disneyfans5
  • 2020-04-23

Sweet, easy listen

I am a frequent consumer of audiobooks but I rarely take time to.write a review. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was light with some fun twists, but with characters that were layered and compelling. This combination of depth and ease can be tough to find. I consume a lot of historical fiction and like a "popcorn" book to cleanse the palette, but dislike contrived and trite characters that try too hard to be funny or deep. This hit just the right tone. highly recommend.

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  • thagrove
  • 2020-04-16

lovely

well imagined characters. I wanted some of them to be my friend. yes, I recommend.

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  • Tim
  • 2020-04-05

Self discovery through others

Great character analysis, plot, and flow.

Dislike: would have loved to see Alice’s husband go through the authenticity project, or meet her friends to see if he would grow, or remain the plastic Ken Barbie doll he is?