This week, I'm giving away a book by an author whose work I love. Chris Bohjalian has published several novels, including the bestselling Oprah's Book Club pick Midwives and his most recent novel Secrets of Eden, which I reviewed when it was published last year. I loved both of those novels -- and all of his others -- but especially the 2007 novel The Double Bind.
The Double Bind appeals to my love for literature not only because it is an excellent novel in its own right, but also because it includes references to the classic Fitzgerald novel The Great Gatsby. In The Double Bind, Bohjalian blends classic literature to modern fiction with reality-bending results.
Author Jodi Piccoult reviewed the novel for Amazon, and here is some of what she wrote:
"The story centers on Laurel Estabrook, a young social worker and survivor of a near-rape, who stumbles across photographs taken by a formerly homeless client and tries to understand how a man who'd taken snapshots of celebrities in the 50s and 60s might have wound up on the streets. . . .
Bohjalian resurrects details from The Great Gatsby, which become "real" in the context of his own novel -- Laurel lives in West Egg; part of her hunt for her photographer's past involves meeting with the descendants of Daisy and Tom Buchanan. As a writer who counts The Great Gatsby as one of the books that changed her life, this inclusion was both startling and remarkable for me. Who doesn't want one's favorite characters to come to life--even if it's only within the constraints of another fictional work? . . . .
The Double Bind may flirt with the classics, but it's not your father's stuffy old tome: it's the sort of book you want to read in one sitting, and it packs a twist at the end that will leave you speechless. It also, worthily, spotlights the cause of homelessness in a way that isn't preachy, but honest and explanatory."It is an amazing novel, one in which fictional characters become "real" once again to a whole new generation of readers.
Bohjalian has a new novel debuting in the fall titled The Night Strangers which I (of course) can't wait to read. He also writes a column for the Burlington Free Press which can be accessed on his blog, Chris Bohjalian's Idyll Banter.
To enter to win a copy of The Double Bind, fill out the form below: