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Book Clubs  •  04 February 2020


The Authenticity Project Book Club Notes

Something to ponder with your book club: our lives aren't always what we make them out to be.

Described by Sophie Kinsella as 'a clever, uplifting book that entertains and makes you think’, The Authenticity Project is perfect for book clubs.

Desperate to confess the deep loneliness he feels, Julian begins The Authenticity Project – a small green notebook containing the truth about his life – to pass on and encourage others to share their own.

He never expects Monica to find it and track him down. Or that his small act of honesty will impact all those who come into contact with the book, and lead to a life-changing world of friendship and forgiveness… 

So, what porkie pies have you told about your life? What do you think would happen if you told the truth instead? Ponder this, and the questions below, to open up a candid book club conversation.

Discussion points and questions:

  • Julian calls his notebook The Authenticity Project. Do you think people are increasingly searching for authenticity in today’s world, and if so, why?
  • Julian writes: 'Everyone lies about their lives'. Is this true? Do you?
  • The book’s epigraph is a Leonard Cohen quote: 'There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.' What do you think these lines mean, and how are they relevant to The Authenticity Project?
  • We are all connected via huge social media communities, but are we really missing the type of local, ‘IRL’ community provided by Monica’s Café and Julian’s Supper Club? What could these communities give us that virtual ones do not?
  • Most of the characters in the book are lonely, but in very different ways. What are the various forms of loneliness explored in The Authenticity Project?
  • The story is told from the perspectives of six main characters. Which of these did you associate with the most, and why? Which character is least like yourself?
  • Baz keeps the truth from his granny in order to spare her feelings. Julian avoids the truth to protect himself. Are there times when admitting the truth isn’t the right thing to do?
  • We all make snap judgements about each other, and often they’re wrong. What incorrect assumptions do The Authenticity Project characters make about each other?
  • There is a scene in the book where Monica and Alice first see each other through the café window, and both want what the other has. What does The Authenticity Project teach us about envy?
  • Riley is the only character in the novel who doesn’t have an obvious fatal flaw. Does this make him more loveable, or less? How does Riley act as a touchstone for the other characters?
  • If you found The Authenticity Project notebook, what truth would you tell?

The Authenticity Project Clare Pooley

THE 2020 DEBUT NOVEL EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT. Our lives aren't always what we make them out to be. What would happen if we told the truth instead?

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