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Book cover of The Condition

The Condition

by Jennifer Haigh

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780061562778

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Synopsis of The Condition

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.

The Washington Post - Chris Bohjalian

Haigh has demonstrated in her previous two novels, Mrs. Kimble and Baker Towers, an unerring ability to chronicle the ways people delude themselves—those lies we tell ourselves daily to survive. And in The Condition her touch with characterization is usually sure. Occasionally, Paulette's monumental repression and Billy's gay domesticity feel a tad cliched, but generally Haigh's characters are layered and authentic. Moreover, one would have to have a heart of stone not to care for them and follow their small sagas…I cared so much for each member of the McKotch clan that I was…happy to have spent time with them, and to have witnessed them growing up and old and, finally, learning to accept who they are.

About the Author, Jennifer Haigh

With her PEN/Hemingway Award-winning debut, Mrs. Kimble (2003), Jennifer Haigh established herself as a writer to watch. Since then, this dazzling young novelist and short story writer has demonstrated an uncanny knack for creating rich, complex characters whose lives resonate with real-world rhythms.

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