BN.com Gift Guide
Customer Reviews for

The Condition

Average Rating 3.5
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(5)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

This is an intriguing character driven tale that looks deeply at how a health condition impacts everyone in a family

In 1976, the marriage between Paulette and Frank McKotch is teetering on the brink of collapse because he wants sex and lots of it and she doesn't. They are spending the summer together with their three kids at Cape Cod with plans to sell the beach cottage when the vac...
In 1976, the marriage between Paulette and Frank McKotch is teetering on the brink of collapse because he wants sex and lots of it and she doesn't. They are spending the summer together with their three kids at Cape Cod with plans to sell the beach cottage when the vacation ends. However both are stunned to learn their thirteen years old daughter Gwen has been diagnosed with Turner Syndrome, a chromosome deficiency that keeps an adult in the body of a pre- puberty child. Gwen's parents disagree about how to proceed; Frank seeks medical answers while Paulette wants to keep Gwen safe.

Two decades later, Frank and Paulette long divorced have never married again. Their son Bill lives with his beloved male partner and works as a cardiologist in Manhattan, but hides his sexual preference from his parents. Their youngest child Scott teaches school and is married with two kids. Gwen lives alone working at a museum. On a vacation, she falls in love with her guide. However, Paulette, still protecting Gwen, orders Scott to find his sister and bring her home. His mission forces each of the five McKotches to relook their relationships and their lives.

This is an intriguing character driven tale that looks deeply at how a health condition impacts everyone in a family; even one that is dysfunctional. The cast drives the story line as each seems real though in many ways the rest of the family besides Gwen show their traits by how they act towards her. The key to this touching tale is the way Jennifer Haigh avoids turning THE CONDITION into a five tissue box soap opera; as readers will feel for Gwen who demands no tears as she is a self sufficient adult.

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on June 13, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Sorely Disappointing

I'm just going to rip into this book.

I got this book, because it looked interesting. Reading about Turner Syndrome (something I knew nothing about) and how it affects a family appealed to me.

I was up to page 100 before anything was mentioned about the disease. ...
I'm just going to rip into this book.

I got this book, because it looked interesting. Reading about Turner Syndrome (something I knew nothing about) and how it affects a family appealed to me.

I was up to page 100 before anything was mentioned about the disease. It's been a quick read, but it just talks about a family and what they are all about. So far nothing is jumping out at me.

Page 123. Still nothing. Scott seems to be getting the most attention in this book and it's not really all that interesting.

Page 169. Chapter 4 starts here. I hadn't realized it until then, but each chapter has about 4 sub-chapters. They are laid out like a normal chapter, but without a number. This turned me off (even more than I already was).

Ooh here we go. We are finally talking about Gwen and how her condition affects her and her family. Four (4) pages later, we are done with the explanation. Nice.

I finished this book, because by then I was invested in it. Sadly.

This is a story about a family. A family like yours and mine. With our quirky relatives and secrets we all keep in death. It was an easy read, but really, who cares? I feel I could have gone to my neighbors and gotten a good story just as easily.

There is NOTHING in this book that makes it different from anyone else's life. The Turner Syndrome isn't discussed with any detail. We aren't even told how Gwen dealt with it during her school years. It's just brushed over. We are told about her running away to a man on an island that she barely knows. Show me a woman that hasn't done that at least once in her life. We all fall for the mysterious man at some point. Nothing special there. The brothers each have their secrets, (Show me a family that doesn't) and the parents are divorced, but still speak to each other at time. Just your regular American family.

Woop-de-doo

Sorely disappointed.

posted by JosieKramer on August 26, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2
  • Posted August 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Sorely Disappointing

    I'm just going to rip into this book.

    I got this book, because it looked interesting. Reading about Turner Syndrome (something I knew nothing about) and how it affects a family appealed to me.

    I was up to page 100 before anything was mentioned about the disease. It's been a quick read, but it just talks about a family and what they are all about. So far nothing is jumping out at me.

    Page 123. Still nothing. Scott seems to be getting the most attention in this book and it's not really all that interesting.

    Page 169. Chapter 4 starts here. I hadn't realized it until then, but each chapter has about 4 sub-chapters. They are laid out like a normal chapter, but without a number. This turned me off (even more than I already was).

    Ooh here we go. We are finally talking about Gwen and how her condition affects her and her family. Four (4) pages later, we are done with the explanation. Nice.

    I finished this book, because by then I was invested in it. Sadly.

    This is a story about a family. A family like yours and mine. With our quirky relatives and secrets we all keep in death. It was an easy read, but really, who cares? I feel I could have gone to my neighbors and gotten a good story just as easily.

    There is NOTHING in this book that makes it different from anyone else's life. The Turner Syndrome isn't discussed with any detail. We aren't even told how Gwen dealt with it during her school years. It's just brushed over. We are told about her running away to a man on an island that she barely knows. Show me a woman that hasn't done that at least once in her life. We all fall for the mysterious man at some point. Nothing special there. The brothers each have their secrets, (Show me a family that doesn't) and the parents are divorced, but still speak to each other at time. Just your regular American family.

    Woop-de-doo

    Sorely disappointed.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is an intriguing character driven tale that looks deeply at how a health condition impacts everyone in a family

    In 1976, the marriage between Paulette and Frank McKotch is teetering on the brink of collapse because he wants sex and lots of it and she doesn't. They are spending the summer together with their three kids at Cape Cod with plans to sell the beach cottage when the vacation ends. However both are stunned to learn their thirteen years old daughter Gwen has been diagnosed with Turner Syndrome, a chromosome deficiency that keeps an adult in the body of a pre- puberty child. Gwen's parents disagree about how to proceed; Frank seeks medical answers while Paulette wants to keep Gwen safe.

    Two decades later, Frank and Paulette long divorced have never married again. Their son Bill lives with his beloved male partner and works as a cardiologist in Manhattan, but hides his sexual preference from his parents. Their youngest child Scott teaches school and is married with two kids. Gwen lives alone working at a museum. On a vacation, she falls in love with her guide. However, Paulette, still protecting Gwen, orders Scott to find his sister and bring her home. His mission forces each of the five McKotches to relook their relationships and their lives.

    This is an intriguing character driven tale that looks deeply at how a health condition impacts everyone in a family; even one that is dysfunctional. The cast drives the story line as each seems real though in many ways the rest of the family besides Gwen show their traits by how they act towards her. The key to this touching tale is the way Jennifer Haigh avoids turning THE CONDITION into a five tissue box soap opera; as readers will feel for Gwen who demands no tears as she is a self sufficient adult.

    Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2008

    Good, Solid Read

    I would just like to correct momof3's entry on this site. She states in her review that the author did not include information on treatment of Turner's Syndrome -- estrogen therapy and growth hormone. In fact, the author does write about this in a chapter in which Frank, the girl's father, is reflecting on the unsuccessful use of each of these treatments on his daughter. I just felt that should be cleared up. I found this to be a good, solid read. The book was well constructed, and I enjoyed the character development, as well as the window into New England living. The descriptions of Paulette's house, for instance, were so well written I felt as though I were seeing it with my own eyes.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2009

    Character driven novel

    I was deeply interested in reading this book about a family with its fractures and challenges and strengths within the family. It's always a good sign when I carry a book wherever I go just in case I have a moment to read. This was one of those books for me.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2008

    nice writing

    this one was one smoothly written novel. From the start to the end, I thought it felt like going down the river on a windless and waveless day. One word of caution, this is not one of those books where you read through it quickly. Absorb every bit of it. That's the only way to capture all its wonders...

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 22, 2008

    One of My Favorite Books in the Last Five Years

    I'm astounded to see mixed reviews on this book. It was so amazingly well crafted. The prose was poetic and true and the dynamics in the family fascinating and very believable. I can't say that I agree with a previous reviewer that the use of setting was "fun". In my mind that doesn't even come close to giving the author enough credit. I live in Massahusetts and I couldn't believe how well written her descriptions of Concord, Cambridge and Cape Cod were-- and all the descriptions so relevant in building the characters in her story. Everyone I know who has read this book has loved it! I'll be looking for Jennifer Haigh's other novels.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2011

    boring

    reading this book is like visiting a stranger and having to listen to them ramble for hours about people you do not know or care about.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2010

    loved this book!

    I couldn't put this book down! I love the story of the family, and the writing. I definately recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Really Good Book!

    I really enjoyed this book. I loved the characters and really hated for the book to end. This was the first book I had read by Ms. Haigh and I was so taken with her writing that I also bought Mrs. Kimble and Baker Towers. They are both winners! Enjoy this writer!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2014

    Good...i liked it

    I liked the family and liked the story...it was good not great but all stories cant be great....worth yhe read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2013

    HARRIET KLAUSNER SPOILS THE PLOT YET AGAIN!! B&N, PLEASE BAN THIS BOOK REVIEWER!!

    I WAS interested in how the family dealt with the daughter's Turner Syndrome (which I knew nothing about before the infamous Harriet's review). BUT, YET AGAIN HARRIET KLAUSNER SPOILED THE ENTIRE BOOK!!! B & N, PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS REVIEWER SPOIL ANOTHER BOOK FOR ME....THERE HAVE BEEN TOO MANY TO COUNT! SHE USED THE REVIEW SECTION TO SUM UP THE ENTIRE BOOK!! WHY WOULD I WANT TO SPEND ~$10 NOW AFTER THE WHOLE STORY HAS BEEN REVEALED!! BAN HARRIET KLAUSNER!!! Her review was only the 2nd review I read about the book. The 1st review was a let down from JosieKramer, so I was a little excited to see a 5 star.....sooo disappointing! I gave the book 3 stars because (1) you have to give a star rating before a review & (2) I didn't want to hurt nor help the review status of the novel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    Very well-written

    I really enjoyed this book. It is very well-written and believable. Not exactly a heartwarming story, but a frank look inside of a troubled family as it evolves from the child-raising years through middle age and beyond.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 11, 2011

    Wasted my time!

    Ugh..I kept thinking it was going to get better, but it never did. I felt there was no story, no beginning or end just blah. Do not waste your time and money

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Another Dysfunctional Family Story

    There seems to be part of a parade of books recently published centered around a dysfunctional family that incorporates 9-11 into them. I have somehow managed to read several of them and cannot find the point in them. This one seems a bit above most (Emperors's Children was horrible). The one sentence in the book that seems to sum up the book as a whole is, "pueberty is the one universal human experience". While one of the characters deals with Turner Syndrome, a chromosone disorder that does not allow a female to go through pueberty, the theme of the book seems to be how experiences in pueberty relate to sexuality of an adult. While the premise of the book seems promising, the story is a bit disjointed and relationships seem thrown in at times.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not Interesting

    I couldn't get past the first 60 pages of this book. I noticed a lot of other reviews raved about the characters, but I didn't really find them interesting or relatable. I didn't find that this book focused a lot on Turner's Syndrome, which was why I wanted to read the book. The disease was not the focus of the book, if that's what you're interested in look elsewhere!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2009

    wonderful book!

    This was a meaty, sensitive, intelligent book, so interesting I could not put it down. Every character was richly drawn, and I cared about each one. The plot never dragged. If you want to sink your teeth into a book, this is the book for you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2008

    Wouldn't recommend it....

    The book was ok... but it was too long. I assumed it would deal more with having Turner's but it didn't.... I was disappointed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2008

    Well-written, absorbing story

    One of the most enjoyable books I've read this summer 'the other was Dreamers of the Day'. If the characters were a tiny bit cliche'd and the use of Turner syndrome was a little gimmicky, the facile language and the family relationships redeemed those issues for me. 'I must also admit the Boston 'sense of place' is fun, having lived there before'

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2008

    A real page turner!!!

    This is non-stop reading at it's best! I've been waiting all summer to find a book to hold my attention while I await the birth of my first grandchild. Jennifer Haigh is a wonderful storyteller!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2008

    Misinformation

    It is too bad that the author took a condition such as Turner Syndrome and exploited it for use in her book -- especially since she did it in an inaccurate way. Even at the time this novel was set there were effective treatments for Turner Syndrome such as growth hormone and estrogen replacement so young women could develop normally. What a disappointment -- in this day and age you'd think the publisher would have higher standards. For those who ever receive this diagnosis, don't believe the stereotypes put forth in this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2