Thursday, November 19, 2009

26. The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian

When college sophomore Laurel Estabrook is attacked while riding her bike through Vermont's back roads, her life is forever changed. Formerly outgoing, Laurel withdraws into her photography and begins working at a homeless shelter. There she meets Bobbie Crocker, a man with a history of mental illness and a box full of photos he won't let anyone see. When Bobbie dies suddenly, Laurel discovers that he was telling the truth; before he was homeless, Bobbie Crocker was a successful photographer who worked with legends such as Chuck Berry and Eartha Kitt. As Laurel's fascination with Bobbie's former life begins to merge into obession, she becomes convinced that his photographs reveal a deeply hidden, dark family secret. Her search for the truth will lead Laurel further from her old life and into a cat-and-mouse game with pursuers who claim to want to save her.

Plot summary courtesy of

I have no recollection of who recommended The Double Bind to me. None whatsoever. I placed a request for it at the library and promptly forgot all about it until I got a phone call telling me it was ready to pick up. [Side note: I hate those phone calls. I don't like the pre-recorded voice and it takes forever to listen to the whole message. Sigh. Okay, on with my story.] I picked up the book, along with a few others, and set it aside for a few days. When I picked it up to start reading, I finally read the book jacket and thought to myself, "Ugh. I do NOT want to read this." But I'm a trooper, so I commenced reading that night at 8:00 p.m.

And I didn't stop reading until 1:00 a.m. when I was done with the book. I loved it! I could NOT put it down! The story was so intriguing, I simply had to know what was going to happen next, while trying madly to piece together all of the clues myself. And the ending tied everything together so perfectly, I was completely satisfied. Nothing's worse than a book starting out amazing and then losing its way two-thirds through.

Here's the thing, though: I don't really want to go into detail in this review, because it was such a great experience reading it without any prior knowledge (except for the unappealing book jacket copy, of course). I really just want everyone I know (especially my mom and my sister Mollie) to read it immediately. If you do, please tell me what you think!

No comments: