Tuesday, April 01, 2008

What We're Reading: The Double Bind

The Double Bind, by Christopher A. Bohjalian

Laurel Estabrook, a young social worker and survivor of a near-rape works in Burlington, VT, at a homeless shelter. She is trying to overcome her moral and emotional injury from the ruthless assault some six years earlier. Laurel encounters Bobbie Crocker, a man with a history of schizophrenia and a box of secret photos. When Bobbie dies suddenly, Laurel embarks on an obsessive search for the truth behind the photos of celebrities in the 50s and 60s, and a picture of herself shot on the day of her attack. She follows Bobbie’s life from his rich childhood on Long Island to homelessness in Vermont.

Bohjalian conceived the book after being shown the actual photos taken by a once-homeless man. The author also resurrects The Great Gatsby – Laurel used to live in West Egg where Jay Gatsby lived, and in order to hunt for her photographer’s past she meets the descendants of Daisy and Tom Buchanan.

This psychological mystery packs a twist at the end that will leave you speechless. The author also sheds light on the cause of homelessness in an honest and explanatory manner.

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