Monday, July 14, 2008

The Double Bind...a book review

Do you remember reading The Great Gatsby when you were in school? I do. It was by far one of my favorite books we had to read in English class. I honestly can't tell you what it was about this book that I enjoyed so much. Perhaps the time frame, the way that Gatsby was finally able to see Daisy, I just don't know. And I just reread the book again, and still can't tell you why I liked it so much! I just do!

I reread Gatsby because the book, The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian refers to Daisy and Tom Buchanan, and their daughter, Pamela. I'd been recommend this book by my friend Susan, who knows my love for Great Gatsby and is a Language Arts teacher.

The book starts out with the main character, Laurel, talking about being attacked while bike riding in Vermont. She talks about the men who attacked her and what saved her from being killed. While the book itself doesn't focus on this, it is an underlying theme.

From there, we're brought back to present day, where Laurel is given pictures that were taken by Bobbie Crocker, a former resident at the homeless shelter where she works. Bobbie had recently passed away, and her boss thought that perhaps the photos could be put together to make a show and then be used as a fundraiser for the shelter.

There are photos showing famous singers, actors, musicians, and then some that also show the Gatsby residence, and one of Pamela Buchanan and a boy, whom Laurel believes to be Bobby Crocker. There are also a few pictures of Laurel on her bike in the woods in Vermont, wearing the shirt she described as wearing when she was attacked.

Laurel becomes obsessed with finding out who exactly Bobby Crocker is and how he was connected to the Buchanans. I can relate with her obsession-when you have a mystery to solve, you want to know, and sometimes other things just get tossed aside.

The rest of the book deals with her obsession to solve the mystery, print the photos from negatives, and to find out just who exactly Bobby Crocker was. I don't want to give away too much of the ending (which was quite surprising to me, and I honestly need to now reread the book to see what little details I missed), so I'll leave it at that. Let me know if you want to know more about the book or if you've read it yourself. I'm curious to know if other readers are as surprised by the ending as I am.

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