From the bestselling author of The Flight Attendant, here is a gripping psychological novel of obsession and consequence.
When Laurel Estabrook is attacked while riding her bicycle through Vermont’s back roads, her life is forever changed. Formerly outgoing, Laurel withdraws into her photography, spending all her free time at a homeless shelter. There she meets Bobbie Crocker, a man with a history of mental illness and a box of photographs that he won’t let anyone see. When Bobbie dies, Laurel discovers a deeply hidden secret–a story that leads her far from her old life, and into a cat-and-mouse game with pursuers who claim they want to save her.
In a tale that travels between the Roaring Twenties and the twenty-first century, between Jay Gatsby’s Long Island and rural New England, bestselling author Chris Bohjalian has written an extraordinary novel.
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.
I found this book in a hotel while waiting for the elevator. I loved it, especially the ending. I'm so glad someone was kind enough to share this book. I definitely will read more books by Chris Bohjalian. I too will pass the book onto my friends.
The Double Bind
Sorry to say disappointing. I just finished The Guest Room, which I loved, but Double Bind did not come close. It was rather drawn out for the conclusion. I felt as annoyed with the main character as her friends felt with her in the story.
This book started off interesting, then got very slow and boring. I had trouble sticking with it. It picked up towards the end when I realized what was actually going on. An okay read.