"The Condition" by Jennifer Haigh

by MediaPhile@evpl on Saturday, August 30 2008, 4:09pm. Viewed 730 times.

the condition

With its sympathetic portrayal of a family in crisis, "The Condition" reminds me of Jonathan Franzen's "The Corrections" and Joyce Carol Oates' "We Were the Mulvaneys."  All three novels convey the message that every family has points of stress and conflict -- we all just differ in the specifics.

In this case, the problem seems to be that thirteen-year-old Gwen has been diagnosed with Turner's Syndrome, a chromosomal abnormality that causes short stature, delayed or absent puberty, and a variety of other possible problems.

But it doesn't take long to figure out that the McKotch family has other hairline fractures in their persona.

Haigh is so adept at both characterizations and plot development that I have shortlisted her other critically acclaimed novels -- "Mrs. Kimble" and "Baker Towers" -- for future reading.

Baker TowersMrs. Kimble


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