September 2009 Indie Next List
“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
July 2008 Indie Next List
“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 a proper New England family that comes apart one fateful summer. To their dismay, Frank and Paulette McKotch's daughter, Gwen, has been diagnosed with Turner's syndrome--a genetic condition that leaves her trapped forever in the body of a child, and sparks heated dispute between the couple.
Twenty years later, their three children--now grown, and each struggling with secret conditions of their own--are still dealing with the fallout of Frank and Paulette's divorce. Then, suddenly, Gwen falls in love for the first time, and the family's world is again tilted on its axis.
In an era when individual quirks look increasingly like symptoms and every symptom demands to be treated, the McKotches are determined to fix themselves and each other. They are a family for our time.
About the Author
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.
“[Haigh] looks unflinchingly at family ties—the kind that limit and the kind that can actually liberate. The Condition is a satisfying feat of literary choreography.”
-Wall Street Journal
“THE CONDITION is something rare. . . . Ms. Haigh has a great gift for telling interwoven family stories and doing justice to all the different perspectives they present. . . . A remarkable accomplishment.”
-Janet Maslin, New York Times Book Review
“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. . . . Haigh is such a gifted chronicler of the human condition.”
-Chris Bohjalian, Washington Post Book World
“Jennifer Haigh illuminates the dark tangle of desire and deed that is the family, that crucible we so often yearn to flee yet keep coming back to again and again. THE CONDITION is unsentimental, compelling, and moving, and I urge you to read it!”
-Andre Dubus III, New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award finalist House of Sand and Fog
“The ailment at the center of this remarkable novel is the human condition itself. Jennifer Haigh has written a sprawling, emotionally gripping account of one family’s troubled history, enlivened by her formidable intelligence and deep insight into her characters’ hearts and minds.”
-Tom Perrotta, New York Times bestselling author of Little Children and Election
“[A] rich, enjoyable third novel. . . . Haigh sets many balls in motion . . . [and] the McKotch clan evolves believably, and satisfyingly.”
-People (People Pick)
“Poignant. . . . A strong nod to the healing power of love.”
“Filled with genuine insight and touching lyricism.”