The Organization by Lucy di LeggeThe Organization by Lucy di Legge is a near-future dystopian thriller. I didn’t know anything other than that going in, and I highly recommend reading it that way. Go read it and then come back here!

Have you finished reading The Organization? Or just absolutely have to read the full review before buying and reading? Okay then, let’s go…

It’s the 2030s and international war has come and gone, leaving the UK borders closed and Americans the enemy. Mobile phones have been banned. The atmosphere is so bad that it’s frequently unsafe to be outdoors during the day, and most people work and socialize at night in the dark.

Charlotte Parker is a biologist with a secret: although she’s a British citizen now, she was originally born and raised in the United States. When she’s promoted from one lab to another, her solitary life becomes less so when she is befriended by fellow labmates Joanna and Paul. Through them she meets the beautiful, enigmatic Harriet Spencer, who can commit to nothing more than a no-strings-attached affair since she’s married, even if unhappily.

As the days and weeks go by, despite Joanna’s warnings, Charlie and Harriet can’t stay away from each other. And even though Harriet tries to stop her, Charlie can’t seem to avoid being drawn into the Organization and their goals to end xenophobia and reopen borders.

The Characters

Aware that she needs to keep her American-born status a secret, Charlotte is incredibly private and trusts almost no one. Until she meets Joanna, her only friend is Erin, who is also the only person left in her life who remembers her dead wife, Maggie, and knows all of her secrets. Charlotte is smart, lonely, and her inner landscape is well matched by the outer world.

Harriet works as a producer for the European Broadcasting Company, a media outlet/propaganda machine. She and her husband, Thomas, can’t ever be together without making it clear that they don’t particularly like each other, and all of their close friends know their marriage is open. Harriet is also wealthy, which is demonstrated by her access to goods banned to the general public, and exudes a power that Charlotte can’t help but be drawn to.

There’s a big cast of supporting characters that includes coworkers and Organization members. They are all fleshed out to differing degrees, each just enough to support the story appropriately.

The Writing Style

The Organization is very well written, and I’m shocked that it’s only Lucy di Legge’s second novel. It has a tone similar to P.D. James’s Children of Men, but without any of the unexplained infertility.

The Pros

Everything. This book came out of nowhere and blew me away. It’s suspenseful, the world is ambitiously and clearly drawn, and rather than telling us explicitly what the world is like and what’s going on, the author very carefully doles out information.

The Cons

It’s so hard to talk about this book because I’m trying to avoid spoiling too many details for all of you, but there’s SO MUCH I want to talk about.

Tara's Favourite Novels reviewed on on TheLesbianReview.comThe Conclusion

If Lucy di Legge keeps writing like this, she will be an author to keep an eye on. The Organization is a compelling page turner, and is one of the best books I’ve read so far in 2016.

Excerpt from The Organization by Lucy di Legge

Charlotte caught up to Harriet outside the pub. Harriet was walking quickly away, her heels clicking on the pavement, and Charlotte had to jog to catch up with her. “I’d ask what that was about, but I have a feeling that you wouldn’t tell me anyway,” Charlotte said, trying to make her tone seem light.

Harriet kept walking without even glancing at her. “Clever woman.”

“So I’ll just ask instead, are you all right?” Charlotte asked, grabbing Harriet’s arm at her elbow.

Harriet turned to face her. Although she crossed her arms, the anger was fading from Harriet’s expression. She said, “Well, I know something that would make me feel better.”

“Won’t Thomas wonder?” Charlotte asked. Even though she wanted to be supportive, she couldn’t rise above her impulse to sting.

“Would you like to take me home with you or not, Charlie?” Harriet asked.

“You know I would.”

“Then let’s go,” Harriet replied, starting to walk again.

“Wait,” Charlotte said. “Just tell me something.”

“Something,” Harriet replied dryly, stopping with her hands on her hips.

Charlotte shot her a look that said she wasn’t amused. She said, “I just need to know. What is it that you do, anyway? I mean, for a job? You don’t have to tell me why Geoff’s question pissed you off, but…”

“I don’t have to tell you anything,” Harriet said.

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Bits and Bobs

AISN number: B019YC112A

Publisher: Supposed Crimes

Note: I received a free review copy of this book for review. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books honestly.