The Double Bind

Chris A. Bohjalian, Author . Crown/Areheart $25 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4000-4746-8

Readers will be startled to learn early on that the heroine of this engrossing puzzle, 26-year-old Laurel Estabrook, was born in West Egg. Wait a minute, wasn't West Egg where Jay Gatsby lived? Laurel works in a Burlington, Vt., homeless shelter and is trying to overcome mental and physical scars incurred from a brutal assault some six years earlier. After being given a portfolio of photographs taken by a recently deceased resident of the shelter, Bobbie Crocker, she becomes obsessed with questions surrounding what appears to be a picture of herself shot on the day of her attack. Laurel's already fragile mental state begins to unravel as she follows Bobbie's life from his rich-kid childhood on Long Island to homelessness in Vermont. The Gatsby references form the basis of the mystery, compelling readers to try to imagine how this fictional backdrop relates to the novel's "reality." It's a high-wire act for bestseller Bohjalian (Midwives ), and while the climactic explanation may be a letdown for some, he generally pulls off a tricky and intriguing premise. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 11/13/2006
Release date: 02/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X
X