Title: The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley
Book Beginnings quote:
Summary: A group of strangers in London become good friends after each one shares they deepest secrets in a little green notebook with the words Authenticity Project written on the cover. The notebook, started by an 80-year-old man, Julian, who is practically dying from loneliness after the loss of his wife fifteen years earlier. He began the project with the aim of telling one's own truth. When he leaves the notebook at a coffee shop, Monica finds it and she is quite moved by his message. She not only starts out to try to help Julian but she writes in the book herself, leaving it for someone else to find. Eventually others find the booklet and find their way to the coffee shop and to new friends, too.
Review: Kirkus Reviews says that The Authenticity Project is an enjoyable, cozy novel that covers tough topics. Those tough topics are loneliness, addiction, parenting, homosexuality, and ageism. In my opinion all of them are handled fairly casually but I still liked the story and the value it placed on friendship to help us through life's trials.
I am slated to lead the book club discussion. These questions seem to get at the heart of the book. I particularly like this one: "If you found 'The Authenticity Project,' what truth would you tell?" I wonder how authentic people will be with their answer.