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The Condition (P.S.)

by

The Condition (P.S.) Cover

 

Staff Pick

The world falls apart for the privileged McKotch family when its youngest member, Gwen, is diagnosed with Turner's Syndrome. As fascinating as the diagnosis aspect of this novel is, the heart of the story is really in watching Gwen grapple with her disease as an adult. Gwen is much more than a woman with Turner's; she is a fully rounded character with her own desires and a will strong enough to withstand the many intrusions of her family. I loved this absolutely perfect novel more than I ever expected to. Jennifer Haigh will amaze.
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Condition tells the story of the McKotches, a proper New England family that comes apart during one fateful summer. The year is 1976, and the family, Frank McKotch, an eminent scientist; his pedigreed wife, Paulette; and their three beautiful children has embarked on its annual vacation at the Captain's House, the grand old family retreat on Cape Cod. One day on the beach, Frank is struck by an image he cannot forget: his thirteen-year-old daughter, Gwen, strangely infantile in her child-sized bikini, standing a full head shorter than her younger cousin Charlotte. At that moment he knows a truth that he can never again unknown something is terribly wrong with his only daughter. The McKotch family will never be the same.

Twenty years after Gwen's diagnosis with Turner's syndrome, a genetic condition that has prevented her from maturing, trapping her forever in the body of a child, all five family members are still dealing with the fallout. Each believes himself crippled by some secret pathology; each feels responsible for the family's demise. Frank and Paulette are acrimoniously divorced. Billy, the eldest son, is dutiful but distant, a handsome Manhattan cardiologist with a life built on compromise. His brother, Scott, awakens from a pot-addled adolescence to a soul-killing job, a regrettable marriage, and a vinyl-sided tract house in the suburbs. And Gwen is silent and emotionally aloof, a bright, accomplished woman who spurns any interaction with those around her. She makes peace with the hermetic life she's constructed until, well into her thirties, she falls in love for the first time. And suddenly, once again, the family's world is tilted on its axis.

Compassionate yet unflinchingly honest, witty and almost painfully astute, The Condition explores the power of family mythologies, the self-delusions, denials, and inescapable truths that forever bind fathers and mothers and siblings.

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

Jennifer Haigh is the author of the New York Times bestseller Baker Towers, winner of the 2006 PEN/L. L. Winship Award for outstanding book by a New England author, and Mrs. Kimble, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction and was a finalist for the Book Sense Book of the Year. Both novels were number one Book Sense picks. Her fiction has appeared in Granta, Ploughshares, Good Housekeeping, and elsewhere. She lives in the Boston area.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060755799
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Haigh, Jennifer
Author:
Haigh
Author:
Jennifer
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series:
P.S.
Publication Date:
20090630
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.13 in 18.00 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life

The Condition (P.S.) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 416 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780060755799 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

The world falls apart for the privileged McKotch family when its youngest member, Gwen, is diagnosed with Turner's Syndrome. As fascinating as the diagnosis aspect of this novel is, the heart of the story is really in watching Gwen grapple with her disease as an adult. Gwen is much more than a woman with Turner's; she is a fully rounded character with her own desires and a will strong enough to withstand the many intrusions of her family. I loved this absolutely perfect novel more than I ever expected to. Jennifer Haigh will amaze.

"Synopsis" by , 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.
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