Jury duty is the place to read, and so I spent four days in early August reading The Condition by Jennifer Haigh covertly on my phone. It’s the story of a young girl who is diagnosed with Turner Syndrome, a condition where her body never matures into an adult body. But it’s all about the condition of her family: her two brothers and her parents, who divorced after her diagnosis. The Condition is told through the eyes of Gwen, the young woman, her two brothers Scotty and Billy, and her parents. It’s about truths and half truths and living in a world that isn’t as black and white as we make it out to be.
To be honest, I was initially disappointed when there wasn’t actually that much focus on Turner Syndrome as the description of the book made out, but after reflecting on what “the condition” even meant, I realized it was something that had so much more meaning than Gwen’s condition. I enjoyed how the different family members struggled with what was going on in their respective lives and how each of those things — from work to relationships to children to health to careers — came into play and affected the final outcome of so many people’s lives. I thought Haigh did a great job of creating real characters who were for the most part relatable, down to the sometimes unlikeability of them. The story unfolded at a decent pace, and I really enjoyed the different perspectives of each character. (This is something I’ve mentioned before that I enjoy a lot, but not everyone does.)
Overall Rating: 8/10