The Bottom Line
- 'The Double Bind' is a page-turner that’s also sensitive and beautifully written.
- The book is scattered with arresting photographs taken by the man who inspired Bohjalian’s novel.
- The book opens with a violent scene that makes this inappropriate for young readers.
- Laurel Estabrook is a young woman in her twenties who works at a homeless shelter in Vermont.
- Laurel is still coping with with a violent attack she experienced during college.
- She begins sorting through photographs taken by a homeless man, realizing he grew up near her.
- She believes he was related to the family F. Scott Fitzgerald created in The Great Gatsby.
Guide Review - 'The Double Bind' by Chris Bohjalian - Book Review
The book is scattered with actual photographs taken by a once-homeless man that inspired the author to consider why someone with incredible talent might become homeless. The Double Bind considers the question of homelessness and mental illness with sensitivity. The fictional photographs described in the novel tell Laurel as much about herself as they do about the photographer, and set her on a path that will change her life. The Great Gatsby plays a prominent role in all of this: Fitzgerald’s characters and plot lines are taken to be true, and affect present-day characters.
Chris Bohjalian has written several successful novels, including previous bestseller and Oprah’s Book Club selection Midwives. In his latest effort, Bohjalian masterfully weaves fact and fiction, writing and photography, sanity and delusion into a tale that’s compelling and lingers in your thoughts. The Double Bind is a must-read.