Monday, May 18, 2009

REVIEW - The Condition by Jennifer Haigh

So, I picked this book up on the high praise of The Onion's AV Club, a website I spend entirely too much time on. Here's what I thought:

The Condition - Jennifer Haigh. This novel is revolves around a dysfunctional New England family. The story opens in 1976 with the timeworn ritual of the summer vacation on the Cape. The story purports to revolve around the daughter Gwen's "condition", a genetic, chromosomal abnormality that will keep her tiny her whole life. However, Turner's Syndrome seems to affect all members of the McKotch/Drew family seem to suffer not from a lack of physical development, but mental and emotional growth. The father is a cliched oversexed professor who studies his family from a scientifically. The mother is a passive/aggressive prude. The oldest son is a closeted homosexual. The daughter is not so much limited by her genetic condition as her mother and father issues and her frankly, dull outlook on life. The youngest son is a middle aged stoner whose job and family are a bad joke. In all, the book is filled with unlikeable people who frankly, need to grow up. This is a classic tragic-family-secret book, ironically beautifully written. However, the self-absorbed, dull characters and especially the neatly wrapped up ending culminating with a cheap shot of September 11, made this book an unsatisfying read. C-

Frankly, I should have relied less on the official AV Club review and more on the comments section: "It does sound like a Lifetime movie."

No comments: