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“Set in New England, The Condition realistically portrays the story of a family undergoing separation as they face their only daughter Gwen's diagnosis of Turner's syndrome, a condition that prevents puberty from occurring. Twenty years later, the family is shaken when Gwen, now a young adult, falls in love. There are endless possibilities for book club discussion in Haigh's insightfully written novel, in which family ties are both limiting and liberating.”
— Jane Glaser, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI
“Jennifer Haigh's latest book is the intimate story of a New England family, beginning one idyllic summer on Cape Cod, before their life changes suddenly. Twenty years later their story picks up again and you get to know each member of the family, what motivates them, and how they communicate -- or don't -- with each other. I loved this book.”
— Kym Havens, Wellesley Booksmith, Wellesley, MA
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 has embarked on their annual vacation to Cape Cod. One day, Frank is struck by his thirteen-year-old daughter, Gwen, standing a full head shorter than her younger cousin. At that moment he knows something is terribly wrong with his only daughter.
Twenty years after Gwen's diagnosis with Turner's Syndrome--a genetic condition that traps her forever in the body of a child--all five family members are still dealing with the fallout. Frank and Paulette are acrimoniously divorced. Billy is dutiful but distant. His brother, Scott, awakens from a pot-addled adolescence to a soul-killing job and a regrettable marriage. And Gwen is silent and emotionally aloof, until 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.
Jennifer Haigh is the author of four critically acclaimed novels, Faith; The Condition; Baker Towers, winner of the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award for Fiction, and Mrs. Kimble, for which she won the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her short fiction has been published widely, including in The Atlantic, Granta, The Best American Short Stories 2012, and other publications. She lives in the Boston area.