I just finished reading The Double Bind last night so the story still lingered through my thoughts all day. That’s always the sign of a good novel, you know, the ones that you can’t shake. Only sometimes a book’s more disturbing scenes can strike a nerve, kind of like that scene in Saving Private Ryan. That’s certainly the case with this one as well.
Chris Bohjalian is a tremendously gifted writer and I’ve got to say, having written difficult scenes myself, I mean really difficult, I can tell this affected him deeply. No writer, writing about war, rape, or murders comes out unscathed. I know a time when one of my characters suddenly died, and I the writer, was balling and then shocked at what just took place. I took a walk. I came back. I reread what happened that day…and mourned the loss of this character I’d developed over months. It was like a real death. I felt it and you know what…my readers feel it, too. That’s the same impression I received from The Double Bind. I felt this woman’s pain, her strength, her loss…her obsession.
So my take is…
What if a woman moved on from a life-threatening assault, finds an old man in possession of photos of her taken right before the event took place that nearly killed her?