The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian
Wrote about how I discovered Chris Bohjalian and the day I met him here – so check that out to read about why I was reading this book!
This was far and away the best book I have read this year! It was one of those can’t-put-it-down-stay-up-past-your-bedtime-to-finish-it type books! It’s been awhile since I have had one like that!
This was the last of the already been published Chris Bohjalian books and I think I saved the best for last! I’m not sure it was my favorite of his books, but I think it’s definitely his best book.
The story follows a 30-something social worker, Laurel, as she attempts to unravel the mystery of Bobbie Crocker, a homeless man who showed up at the shelter she worked in. Apparently Bobbie was a photographer and upon his death it was discovered that he had in his possession many exceptional photographs and Laurel begins an investigation of how those photos came to be in Bobbie’s possession.
The one part of the story that I didn’t like very much at first was that there were several very prominent references to The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald, a book that I had not read. It was almost as if, parts of the story were off limits to me since I was unfamiliar with the story. It was ironic, because several parts of the story about an exclusive neighborhood on Long Island, and I was being excluded. This book and the role The Great Gatsby had in the sort had come up the night I met Chris Bohjalian, and he specifically said that you didn’t need to have read The Great Gatsby to understand The Double Bind, so I forged ahead, despite not understanding all of it. In the end though, it truly didn’t matter, in fact I think the story had a bigger impact on me because I hadn’t read The Great Gatsby.
Challenges it fits: