By Jennifer Haigh
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060755799, 390pp.)
Publication Date: June 2009
List Price: $14.99*
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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.
- Discuss the significance of the book's title. What else might it refer to other than Gwen's Turner's syndrome?