Double Helix is a thriller-mystery that revolves around modern day science. This book is suspenseful and eloquent, with a hair-raising conclusion. Double Helix explores identity, intimacy, and the complicated ethics of genetic engineering. This book is filled with questions and hidden answers. Double Helix is bursting with protagonists, multiple conflicts, and a deep fundamental theme found within the novel. One of the main protagonists in this book, Eli Samuels, plays an important role. Eli in this book is pictured as a 7 ft. tall, extremely good-looking, teenager.
The book also reveals his inner self as a teenager. He has become a very introverted person due to many problems with his home life. Some of the problems he experienced at home were with his mother having Huntington’s disease and the broken relationship with his own father. From these problems, Eli has adopted a defense mechanism, of hiding his personal life from his outside associates. He also is constantly questioning things and always wants to find the answers to the questions he seeks. Another critical main character is Vivian Fadiman.
Vivian is Eli's girlfriend, who loves and trusts him, but does not understand why he hides so much of his life from her. Thirdly, there is the influential protagonist Dr. Quincy Wyatt. Dr. Wyatt is a legendary geneticist who knew Eli’s parents before Eli was born, and seems to know more about Eli than he is willing to tell. Like Eli all, these protagonists are very crucial characters in Double Helix. Throughout the book, many conflicts arise. Two of the big conflicts are that Eli’s mother has gone insane from Huntington’s disease, and his dad is ever more distant.
Instead of applying to college, Eli drunkenly begs an old family acquaintance Dr. Wyatt for a job. However, as it turns out that his dad hates Dr. Wyatt, and the reason has something to do with Eli’s mother and Eli’s own past. Eli, and his relationship with his girlfriend Vivian, is stressed when they have a huge fight. These are a few of the problems, which surface during the course of the story. The theme in Double Helix is that of the fear of the unknown. In addition, how this fear can keep a person from performing to their ultimate potential. Eli does not want to be thought as an overachiever, even though he could ccomplish much more than he gives himself credit for doing. He is afraid to stand out and be different. This is clearly seen through his actions and his words. The constant worry over his mother and the belief that he also could be carrying the Huntington’s disease in his DNA, hold him back. He does not want to become a success if he will end up just like his mother, bedridden with very little mental capacity left to express herself. Therefore, the general thought of not knowing the future and its outcomes, can and will keep a person from obtaining what they were intended to achieve.
Double Helix takes a look into today’s science and adds a little portion of mystery to it. This book is fast-moving and powerful, with a heart-stopping finale. Nancy Werlin did a great job of building up hype for the reader. Double Helix investigates the complicated ethics of genetic engineering, intimacy, and identity. This novel has many mysterious uncertainties and secreted solutions. Double Helix is filled with main characters, numerous problems, and a profound deep-seated theme found within the book.