- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $5.49 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Condition: A Novel Hardcover – Bargain Price, July 1, 2008
|New from||Used from|
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Special offers and product promotions
From Publishers Weekly
A dysfunctional New England family struggles toward normalcy in this poignant novel from PEN/Hemingway-winner Haigh, who follows the children of resentful, controlling, Paulette and distracted, needy Frank. Even during a childhood in idyllic Cape Cod, there are hints of a rocky future. When that future arrives, Billy, the most successful of the children, keeps a secret about his sophisticated New York life from almost everyone. Scott, formerly the uncontrollable brat of the bunch, sees himself in his own troubled son. Meanwhile, Gwen suffers from a genetic condition that prevents her from developing into womanhood. The story starts slowly, and while the setup feels familiar (a fractured New England family), the children take unexpected turns that shake up the narrative, leading to the most surprising twist of all: despite the sobering events chronicled, there's a strong nod to the healing power of love. Haigh allows the reader to sympathize with each of the family members, and, in turn, to see their flaws and better understand them. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From School Library Journal
Starred Review. In her third novel (after Baker Towers), New York Times best-selling author Haigh weaves a realistic contemporary tale centering on a 12-year-old girl with Turner syndrome and her relationship with her fractured family. Twenty years into the future, a trip to Cape Cod and down memory lane brings the family its first wave of honest and open communication and maybe even a glimmer of hope. Actress/narrator Jennifer Van Dyck brilliantly captures the unique yet believable characters. Recommended for all public libraries and an obvious choice for book discussion groups. [Audio clip available through www.harperaudio.com; watch the book trailer at oogop.notlong.com; the Harper hc was "highly recommended," LJ 4/1/08.—Ed.]—Valerie Piechocki, Prince George's Cty. Memorial Lib., Largo, MD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Jennifer Haigh's novel is a family saga that reads like a post-mortem. With alternating narration, each of the five family members give their perspective on what led to the family's demise and current state. The novel's title, The Condition, seems to refer specifically to one child in the family who has been diagnosed with a rare medical condition called Turner's Syndrome. But throughout the book, it becomes clear that each family member has developed their own "condition" or way of existing that is just as much a part of their identity.
One of the most remarkable things about this book is how completely I fell in love with each character. In fact, while reading a chapter from the daughter's perspective, I could see her mother as a villain and still fall in love with the mother in the following chapter from her perspective. Somehow, I was able to see both sides without feeling inconsistent.
This was exactly the kind of book I like to read and it managed to be very easy to relate to in spite of what may seem like a too-specific story-line. The weird thing is that I sometimes felt like I was reading about my own family, even though absolutely none of the external details are the same. It's the feeling she captures so brilliantly.
I am especially excited that I found a new (to me) author whose books I can now devour!
-Katie O'Rourke, author of Monsoon Season
The story begins in the 1970s when the family and assorted relatives are spending the summer at their magnificent house on Cape Cod. These are happy days on the surface, but a fissure develops when Frank and Paulette finally admit to themselves that Gwen, at age 11, is not maturing as quickly as her cousins.
Fast forward several years, during which time Frank and his wife have divorced, and the children are adults. The story is filled with spoilers, most of which realistically portray flaws in each character. The characters are well developed, but I was especially interested in Paulette and Gwen.
Paulette lives in a historical house in Concord, Massachusetts. She is obsessed with aging and, like many women of her generation, keeping up appearances. How I thought of my mother fussing over the appropriate outfit to wear and somewhat unfortunately passing the obsession onto me! Paulette cannot accept that her children are adults with their own lives. She especially frets over Gwen, who works in a private museum in Pittsburgh.
I worked for years with a woman with Turner Syndrome, and her resemblance to fictional Gwen is uncanny. Wendy began her job with an attitude. She was an intelligent, diligent employee, but she shunned all attempts to befriend her. Like Gwen's co-worker, I refused to give up, and after countless invitations, she agreed to have lunch with me. Over a period of time, we became friendly enough that I asked about the elephant in the room - her size. Everything she told me about her diagnosis and treatments paralleled Gwen's life. Like Gwen, she had developed a tough exterior, which when penetrated, revealed a normal 30-year-old woman. Her metamorphosis was complete when she, by chance as Gwen did, met a lovely man and has been married for 35 years. It did not necessarily require a man to transform her; she wanted to be loved for herself. I commend Jennifer Haigh for her research on this rare disorder and hope that women who are affected read this book. It is filled with hope and education to the general public that everyone with a rare medical disorder (I include myself) craves.
I highly recommend this book to everyone who likes a well-written, realistic family drama. Some of the twists and turns might surprise you, but these flaws are what make each family unique.