Friday, February 16, 2007

Seeing is Disbelieving

I look forward to every Chris Bohjalian novel and The Double Bind was no exception, particularly since he referenced another favorite novel, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, so liberally in his own latest offering.

After a traumatic attack, Laurel buries herself in her work as a social worker for a homeless shelter. An elderly gentleman, Bobby, whom Laurel has helped assimilate back into society, dies and leaves behind a box of photographs.

As Laurel sorts the pictures for a retrospective of the man's work, she becomes obsessed with photos of his family home--The Buchanan estate, home of Daisy and Tom Buchanan of The Great Gatsby. Another photo also holds allure for Laurel--one of a blonde girl biking a remote path on a Vermont mountain. This photo brings terrifying reminders to Laurel of her own aattack and she starts unearthing the truth of Bobby's life before homelessness and mental illness and why he took a picture of Laurel moments before she was assaulted.

Fans of Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island will enjoy the psychological elements of this harrowing novel.

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