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The Double Bind
The best-selling author of Midwives (a 1998 Oprah's Book Club pick) and Before You Know Kindness, Bohjalian offers an unforgettable blend of mystery and psychological intrigue with his 11th novel. Laurel Estabrook is brutally attacked while cycling in Vermont. After the tragedy, she retreats from life and goes to work in a homeless shelter, immersing herself in her career. At the shelter she meets an elderly man named Bobbie Crocker who has a box of photos showing characters from The Great Gatsbyand showing Laurel on the road where she was attacked. The Gatsby characters, who are real in Bohjalian's narrative, include Daisy and Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby himself. After Bobbie dies, Laurel calls on the Buchanans' daughter, an elderly woman named Pamela, in order to find out more about him. But Pamela is secretive and refuses to disclose any information. Clearly, she has something to hide, and Laurel is soon drawn into a mysteryone that quickly takes over her life. Bohjalian's ingenious use of F. Scott Fitzgerald's characters and his development of Laurel into an intelligent and strong-willed heroine give this novel remarkable life and momentum. The narrative has an unexpected ending that's perfectly suited to its suspenseful, haunting tone. Finely constructed and full of surprises, this chilling tale will stay with readers long after the final page is turned.
A reading group guide is included in the book.