Review Authenticity Project

Our bookseller Lucy reviews Radio 2 Book Club Pick The Authenticity Project


What would happen if you told the truth instead?

Former artist Julian Jessop is tired of hiding his loneliness and decides to share it in a small green notebook calling it ‘The Authenticity Project’. He leaves it behind in Monica’s Cafe encouraging people to do the same and pass it on.

The owner ,Monica, finds the notebook in her cafe. Inspired by Julian’s honesty she decides to track him down and writes her own story. The notebook then begins to make its way across the community joining six strangers. Little do they know that their lives could change forever due to the experience.


I thoroughly enjoyed this read. It is equally intriguing and warm. I couldn’t fault Pooley’s writing. It is not very often that a writer is poetic, hilarious and heart-warming all within a single chapter let alone one book. She is an extraordinary talent.

The story is told from a variety of perspectives, each of the characters are well-rounded and distinctive. Even the more minor characters have depth to them. Pooley takes an unlikely group of people and makes them gel seamlessly. The whole book feels like a hug. I would love to see this dramatised for television, but her writing is so vivid I feel like I’ve already seen it inside my head. If you are looking for feel-good fiction with an immersive storyline. Look no further than this book. I’m surprised this book hasn’t won an award!

Favourite Extract

… ‘How you let them know you like them?’

‘That’s easy. I give them one of my Haribos. And you know what I do if I really like them?’

… ‘What?’ asked Hazard, leaning down to Finn’s height.

Fin whispered, his breath hot in Hazard’s ear, ‘I give them the one shaped like a heart.’


4.5 stars

One Word Summary