The Double Bind: A Novel by Chris Bohjalian
A caution to those who are looking to read this book. It begins with a fairly graphic description of Laurel’s near-rape and murder. In fact, this is one of the central themes and plot points of the book as Laurel is still working through this traumatic experience. If this subject is a trigger, I absolutely would not recommend this book.
That being said, “The Double Bind” is a fascinating tale. The main character is the aforementioned Laurel. Now out of college, she is a case worker at a homeless shelter. Life becomes complicated for Laurel when one of the shelter’s clients dies, leaving a stack of photographs and Laurel’s boss asks her to catalog them and prepare them for a show to benefit the shelter. Laurel becomes almost obsessed with the photos, risking damage to her social life and, her friends believe, her mental health in working on them.
This book kept me entertained and guessing the entire time. There is a strong connection with “The Great Gatsby” that just made the book more interesting. Bohjalian wove his story well and both set up and hid information for the climax. Unfortunately, I cannot say much more without giving too much away. I will, however, tell you this:
Do not read ahead.