“The Unity Project saved my life.”
Lo Denham is used to being on her own. After her parents died, Lo’s sister, Bea, joined The Unity Project, leaving Lo in the care of their great aunt. Thanks to its extensive charitable work and community outreach, The Unity Project has won the hearts and minds of most in the Upstate New York region, but Lo knows there’s more to the group than meets the eye. She’s spent the last six years of her life trying—and failing—to prove it.
“The Unity Project murdered my son.”
When a man shows up at the magazine Lo works for claiming The Unity Project killed his son, Lo sees the perfect opportunity to expose the group and reunite with Bea once and for all. When her investigation puts her in the direct path of its charismatic and mysterious leader, Lev Warren, he proposes a deal: if she can prove the worst of her suspicions about The Unity Project, she may expose them. If she can’t, she must finally leave them alone.
But as Lo delves deeper into The Project, the lives of its members, and spends more time with Lev, it upends everything she thought she knew about her sister, herself, cults, and the world around her—to the point she can no longer tell what’s real or true. Lo never thought she could afford to believe in Lev Warren . . . but now she doesn’t know if she can afford not to.
Welcome to The Unity Project.
I had high expectations for this book after reading and loving Summers’s last book Sadie. The main problem I found in The Project is the shifting point of view just shifts too much and too quickly. Sure, it was interesting to follow the characters from different points in the timeline, but the constant flipping back and forth between time and character turned out to be distracting and didn’t add to the tension or mystery as it was probably intended.
I definitely need to point out that some of my review of this book is “it’s not the book, it’s me.” I just read another book about a cult called The Children of Red Peak by Craig DiLouie. And while Summers description of The Unity Project in Upstate New York was engaging, my interest started to wane towards the end. There’s a good deal of “promised land” and “The Kingdom to come…” too. That tends to also grind on me. Ultimately, the book came down to two sisters with The Unity Project stuck right between them. Is it Lev that is keeping them apart? Is it the corruption inside The Project or is it the corruption in the real world?
I don’t want to take too much away from Summers’s writing. Bottomline, I’m still a fan and will be looking forward to her next book. I just didn’t connect with this one.
3 out of 5 stars
Thank you to NetGalley, Wednesday Books, and the author for an advanced copy for review.