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The Condition by Jennifer Haigh
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The Condition (edition 2008)

by Jennifer Haigh

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8185311,119 (3.73)77
Member:srauske
Title:The Condition
Authors:Jennifer Haigh
Info:HarperLuxe (2008), Paperback, 640 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Turner's syndrome, family relationships

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The Condition by Jennifer Haigh

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Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
I read The Condition in short spurts on the cardio machine, which is a difficult way to read a novel, but Ms. Haigh's story pulled me so that I almost forgot I was working out.

It's the story of a family that already has cracks beneath the surface before Gwen's condition (Turner's syndrome) determines the course of their lives. In a true dysfunctional manner, everyone develops behavior in response to her condition, each reacting off the others' behavior.

The story follows each of the children into adulthood and circles back to follow the parents, Frank and Paulette.

I felt the struggle of each person to find her/his place in the world and to come to terms with the wounds and misunderstandings of the past.

Ms. Haigh's prose is fluid, and captivating in every way and her characters come to life so that I closed the book feeling as if they were part of my family. ( )
  CathrynGrant | Nov 20, 2014 |
Another wonderful novel by Jennifer Haigh. About a girl with Turner's Syndrome, but also essentially about a family and about forgiveness and change. ( )
  twopairsofglasses | Aug 24, 2014 |
When I am in the mood for a light, easy read, I often turn to Laurie Colwin. She's one of my very favorite authors, both for her fiction (Happy All the Time/u>), and her nonfiction (Home Cooking). I like Beth Gutcheonfor the same reason. Her books, like Laurie Colwin's, don't require too much concentration, but neither do they make you embarrassed to tell your friends what you're reading. The Condition is a similar piece of work: a quick read (about a morning, for me), with a happy ending, and nothing too strenuous to think about. A great beach book, and not just because the beginning & ending take place at the Cape. Three-&-a-half stars. ( )
  cat-ballou | Jan 22, 2014 |
When I am in the mood for a light, easy read, I often turn to Laurie Colwin. She's one of my very favorite authors, both for her fiction (Happy All the Time/u>), and her nonfiction (Home Cooking). I like Beth Gutcheonfor the same reason. Her books, like Laurie Colwin's, don't require too much concentration, but neither do they make you embarrassed to tell your friends what you're reading. The Condition is a similar piece of work: a quick read (about a morning, for me), with a happy ending, and nothing too strenuous to think about. A great beach book, and not just because the beginning & ending take place at the Cape. Three-&-a-half stars. ( )
  cat-ballou | Jan 22, 2014 |
The opening chapter pulled me in, but there were several times I almost put it aside. However, there was enough smatterings of wit and really good writing to keep me interested.

These people were just so unlikeable and incapable and/or unwilling to communicate with each other on the simplest of terms almost as if it was their goal to purposely stay out of each other's lives. I felt there was some kind of underlying air of superiority in characters who felt that detachment from their families, and in some cases their friends, was desirable.

I knew nothing about Turner Syndrome but did feel the author handled it with respect and insight. That certainly wasn't the only "condition" in the book -- of course, I guess that's the point of the book. ( )
  maryreinert | Aug 17, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
In nature, all is useful, all is beautiful.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Art"

To regret deeply is to live afresh.
--Henry David Thoreau, Journals
Dedication
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Summer comes late to Massachusetts.
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Book description
Tells the story of the McKotches, a proper New England family that comes apart during one fateful summer, when the family notices something different in their daughter only to find she has Turner's syndrome.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060755784, Hardcover)

In the summer of 1976, during their annual retreat on Cape Cod, the McKotch family came apart. Now, twenty years after daughter Gwen was diagnosed with Turner's syndrome—a rare genetic condition that keeps her trapped forever in the body of a child—eminent scientist Frank McKotch is divorced from his pedigreed wife, Paulette. Eldest son Billy, a successful cardiologist, lives a life built on secrets and compromise. His brother Scott awakened from a pot-addled adolescence to a soul-killing job and a regrettable marriage. And Gwen—bright and accomplished but hermetic and emotionally aloof—spurns all social interaction until, well into her thirties, she falls in love for the first time. With compassion and almost painful astuteness, The Condition explores the power of family mythologies—the self-delusions, denials, and inescapable truths that forever bind fathers and mothers and siblings.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:29 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Unaware of the long-standing grievances harbored by their divorced parents, three adult siblings embark on a tumultuous summer when the oldest, a successful Manhattan doctor, investigates his sister's chromosomal disorder against his mother's wishes.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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