Book review: The Authenticity Project

Book review: The Authenticity Project

The Authenticity Project is one of those books that will stay with me a long time, for many reasons. If you've read the blurb, you know that an elderly man, Julian, leaves behind a notebook in a cafe. In it, he's written his story, and he challenges the next person to write their truth. Monica, the cafe owner, finds the notebook, and adds her story. In total, six people put their stories in writing in this notebook.

So first, I love the structure of the novel: It's told through the eyes of six different characters and as each person adds another little bit, the story begins to build. It's not told in a strictly linear fashion. Characters come in and out of each others' stories, and some questions that are raised in one person's story are answered later in another person's story. Not every person is given the same amount of time to "speak," and in fact one character who comes in a bit later adds only a few paragraphs to the notebook. Writing in this style cannot have been an easy feat to pull off; done well, as it is here, it's fascinating. As a bonus, each chapter is short so this is a very easy read.

Secondly, the characters: I found myself reading more and more slowly as I neared the end, just because I didn't want to finish this book. Not to sound terribly needy or anything, but I think the characters are all people I have elements in common with, and I wanted to continue hanging out with them just a little longer. Julian, the elderly man, starts things in action. Monica, the cafe owner, is the touchstone of the book. Alice is a new mom and influencer whose life is nothing like she presents it to be on Instagram. These characters, plus three more who write in the notebook, all have quirks and foibles that resonated with me on some level.

Third and very importantly, the writing is stellar. The more I read, the more invested I became in the story. I started rooting for characters, and being disappointed when they let me down. I hoped the romantic pairing that I wanted to happen, would happen. Some of the stories unfolded the way I wanted but there were definitely surprises, including some I didn't like. Some of the ways in which the notebook made its way into the hands of the next recipient stretched the boundaries of belief ... except that I totally bought into it because the author persuaded me with her writing that it could have happened this way.

I'm thrilled to have discovered author Clare Pooley, and I hope we'll be hearing a lot more from her in the future.

Have you read this book? Leave a comment and tell me what you think.




Virgin River filming sites: Doc's house

Virgin River filming sites: Doc's house

I've never been the type of person who visits houses that are listed for sale out of curiosity. But I suddenly saw the appeal of doing so when I learned of a showing for the home that's "Doc's house" in Netflix's Virgin River series.

The series is filmed throughout Metro Vancouver, and the Queen Anne-style home that is Doc's house is located in the Vancouver suburb of New Westminster. It's up for sale for $2.25 million CAD, and when I learned there was going to be an open house recently ... well, that's the day I became a looky-loo.

The house is stunning! It has five bedrooms and is 5,363 square feet in size. It sits on a lot that's a quarter of an acre in size, just steps from a great park. It has some serious star appeal too: Besides Virgin River, the house has starred in the shows Supernatural, Jinxed and Caprica, to name just a few.

Most of the filming for the Virgin River series is done on sets that are built on soundstages. But exterior shots and establishing shots are done at the house, and the sets themselves are based on the look and layout of the real house. Here's a look in photos:

The real "Doc's house" is on a quiet residential street in the Queen's Park area of New Westminster, a Vancouver suburb.

There's been a lot of discussion about the two doors: The solid outer door and the stained glass inner door. Here's a look.

The foyer, first seen in Episode 1 when Mel enters the house to meet Doc.

The room that's seen most often is Doc's waiting room with adjoining examination room. IRL, it's the home's billiards room.

Doc's office. IRL it's actually the first room off the foyer.

The kitchen is completely different in the show -- it's a set -- but this is the home's real kitchen.


The home has a beautiful sun room that wasn't seen in Season 1. I hope they shoot some scenes in it in Season 2.

The elegant dining room, also not seen in Season 1.

The TV room. The TV is in the cabinet to the right of the fireplace.

Um yes ... of course I had a photo taken at the front door of the house!