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Islington Branch Book Club - Past Titles: "The Authenticity Project" by Clare Pooley

Take a look through previous titles we've discussed at our Islington Branch Book Club

"The Authenticity Project" by Clare Pooley

  1. The Authenticity Project: Discuss the concept of "The Authenticity Project" and its role in the novel. How does the project bring together the characters and catalyze their personal journeys? What does authenticity mean to each character, and how do their perceptions of authenticity change throughout the story?

  2. Friendship and Community: Explore the friendships that develop among the characters as a result of "The Authenticity Project." How do they support and challenge each other? What role does community play in their lives, and how does it contribute to their sense of belonging?

  3. Honesty and Vulnerability: Consider the importance of honesty and vulnerability in the novel. How do the characters grapple with the challenges of being open and authentic in a world that often values appearances and pretense? What are the consequences of withholding the truth, and how does honesty foster deeper connections?

  4. Storytelling and Identity: Analyze the role of storytelling in "The Authenticity Project." How do the characters' stories shape their identities and influence their relationships? In what ways do they use storytelling as a means of self-expression and connection?

  5. Character Development: Trace the journeys of the main characters, including Julian, Monica, Hazard, and Riley. How do they evolve and grow throughout the novel? What pivotal moments or revelations contribute to their personal development?

  6. Themes of Loneliness and Isolation: Loneliness is a recurring theme in the novel, affecting several characters in different ways. How do characters like Monica, Hazard, and Julian grapple with feelings of loneliness and isolation? How do their interactions with others alleviate or exacerbate these feelings?

  7. Cultural and Generational Differences: The novel features characters from diverse backgrounds and age groups. Discuss how cultural and generational differences influence their perspectives and experiences. How do they bridge these differences to form meaningful connections?

  8. Love and Relationships: Explore the various romantic relationships depicted in the novel, including Julian and Emma's burgeoning romance, Monica and Hazard's unconventional connection, and Riley's search for love. How do these relationships intersect with themes of authenticity and self-discovery?

  9. Redemption and Forgiveness: Consider the theme of redemption and forgiveness in the novel, particularly in relation to characters like Monica and Hazard. How do they confront their past mistakes and find opportunities for growth and redemption?

  10. Reflection and Resolution: Reflect on the ending of the novel and the characters' journeys towards authenticity and acceptance. How do they reconcile their pasts, embrace their true selves, and forge authentic connections with others? What lessons can be gleaned from their experiences?

Early Life and Career: Clare Pooley was born and raised in the United Kingdom. She studied Economics at Cambridge University and later pursued a career in advertising, working for some of the world's leading agencies. During her time in the advertising industry, Pooley honed her skills as a writer, crafting compelling narratives for various campaigns and clients.

Personal Journey: Pooley's path to becoming a published author took a significant turn when she decided to quit drinking alcohol in 2015. Her decision to embrace sobriety marked a profound turning point in her life, inspiring her to document her journey and share her experiences with others. Pooley chronicled her personal transformation in a widely popular blog, "Mummy Was a Secret Drinker," where she candidly discussed her struggles with alcoholism, her journey to sobriety, and her reflections on motherhood and life.

Literary Success: Building on the success of her blog, Clare Pooley transitioned to writing books, drawing on her own experiences and insights to craft compelling narratives. In 2018, she published her debut novel, "The Sober Diaries," which blends memoir and self-help elements to offer an honest and inspiring account of her journey to sobriety. The book received critical acclaim and resonated with readers around the world, earning Pooley praise for her candid storytelling and relatable voice.

Following the success of "The Sober Diaries," Pooley continued to explore themes of love, friendship, and personal growth in her fiction writing. In 2020, she published her debut novel, "The Authenticity Project," a heartwarming story about the transformative power of honesty and connection. The novel received widespread acclaim for its engaging characters, poignant themes, and uplifting message about the importance of authenticity.

Personal Life: Clare Pooley resides in London with her family. She is a passionate advocate for mental health awareness, sobriety, and living an authentic life. Through her writing and public speaking engagements, Pooley continues to inspire and empower others to embrace their true selves and pursue fulfilling, meaningful lives.

Legacy: Clare Pooley has established herself as a talented and influential voice in contemporary literature, known for her candid storytelling, relatable characters, and uplifting messages of hope and resilience. Her writing resonates with readers of all backgrounds, offering insight, encouragement, and a reminder that it's never too late to embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth.


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