The Double Bind – Book Review

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.

Buy this book on Amazon.

8 comments to The Double Bind – Book Review

  • I absolutely loved this story. I think your readers just trust you and go for it.

  • I read this last year and really agree, I had to keep reading so I could figure out the connections.

  • I LOVED this book. It kept me hooked the whole way.

  • I’ve heard very mixed reviews of this book, but I’m thinking it may have to go on the TBRs since we have pretty similar taste. Thanks for the review!

  • Hmm…I don’t know. Your warning at the beginning has me wondering if this is something for me, but it sounds really good.

  • Shana

    Jen, I read this book earlier this year. I really needed to discuss w/ someone after reading it because the ending inspired a ton of questions for me.

  • I really want to read this, as I loved Bohjalian’s “Midwives” and another that I read of his (the title is totally escaping me right now) which is about a woman in a relationship with a FTM transsexual… ahh wish I could remember the title as that book was excellent. Anyway, thanks for the review – this book looks fantastic!

  • I’m intrigued. But not reading ahead is sooooo hard for me. I keep telling myself not to spoil the book, but alas. I’ve done so good with the book I’m currently reading, haven’t peeked ahead once. So maybe I could be on my best behavior if I read this one. 😉