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Download The Condition Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Condition (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Jennifer Haigh
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,213 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jennifer Haigh Narrator: Jennifer Van Dyck Publisher: HarperAudio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2008 ISBN:
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The Condition tells the story of the McKotches, a proper New England family that comes apart during one fateful summer. The year is 1976, and the family - Frank McKotch, an eminent scientist; his pedigreed wife, Paulette; and their three beautiful children - has embarked on its annual vacation at the Captain's House, the grand old family retreat on Cape Cod.

One day on the beach, Frank is struck by an image he cannot forget: his 13-year-old daughter, Gwen, strangely infantile in her child-sized bikini, standing a full head shorter than her younger cousin Charlotte. At that moment, he knows a truth that he can never again unknow: something is terribly wrong with his only daughter. The McKotch family will never be the same.

Twenty years after Gwen's diagnosis with Turner's syndrome, a genetic condition that has prevented her from maturing, trapping her forever in the body of a child, all five family members are still dealing with the fallout. Each believes himself crippled by some secret pathology; each feels responsible for the family's demise. Frank and Paulette are acrimoniously divorced. Billy, the eldest son, is dutiful but distant, a handsome Manhattan cardiologist with a life built on compromise. His brother, Scott, awakens from a pot-addled adolescence to a soul-killing job, a regrettable marriage, and a vinyl-sided tract house in the suburbs.

Gwen is silent and emotionally aloof, a bright, accomplished woman who spurns any interaction with those around her. She makes peace with the hermetic life she's constructed until, well into her 30s, she falls in love for the first time. And suddenly, once again, the family's world is tilted on its axis.

Compassionate yet unflinchingly honest, witty and almost painfully astute, The Condition explores the power of family mythologies - the self-delusions, denials, and inescapable truths that forever bind fathers and mothers and siblings. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/16/2014

    " I read an excerpt of this novel in the lit magazine Ploughshares some months ago and was intrigued by the characters. The novel did not disappoint. It's a fast, engaging read told from five points of view -- the members of a dysfunctional New England family. Often when I read books told from multiple points of view like that I tend to get irritated at the jumping around, but in this case I felt equally attached to all five family members. The fact that the story lines continued no matter whose point of view was at the forefront helped. The ending was maybe a little too pat for me, but that's just my taste, not necessarily a flaw in the novel. Good summer book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brandee walker | 2/15/2014

    " slow moving but all in all- a good book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather Somers | 2/8/2014

    " Well written, with real, believable characters. I read the audio book, and the reader was amazing with her different character voices. When I began the book, I thought it was just a story about a girl with a "Condition" called Turner's. It turned out to be so much more. I was drawn into every family member, crying for their losses and cheering in their victories. I felt like they were friends of mine and I didn't want it to end. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ann | 2/7/2014

    " i can't believe i read the whole book. a horribly dysfunctional family, i didn't like a single character. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joan | 1/21/2014

    " This is a pretty good novel - not exciting by any means, and not uplifting or inspiring, but defiitely good character study. I almost added an extra star for the vocabulary and lyrical quality of the writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maria | 1/17/2014

    " I read it. I finished it. I didn't love it though. I did enjoy the way the author took us through each family member's life & thoughts separately. But, I really wasn't that interested in any of the characters. The one I was interested in, the girl with the condition, didn't have nearly enough "page" time so there wasn't anything to make me remember this book 6 months from now. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherri | 1/13/2014

    " Another family drama - all is (seemingly) well until they discover one of the children has a "condition" - then family falls apart. Okay, its not quite as simple as that, but I've read similar before. An okay read, nothing to get too excited about. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenny Wikoff | 1/6/2014

    " Far from her best work, unfortunately. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 12/19/2013

    " My best book of the summer! Very well-written story of a family from each of their perspectives. Never trite or corny or unbelievable. I've just ordered her other two books as well. Enjoy! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patty | 11/23/2013

    " i thought it would be better than it was "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheryl Pashlin | 10/14/2013

    " This book takes dysfunctional families to a whole new level...enjoyed this occasionally slow book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine | 9/30/2013

    " The Condition is a family drama about how a family copes with one child's genetic deformity. Fascinating portrayal of how people deal with a crisis differently. I do recommend this book, and this author - if she's written anything else. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danielle Woodman ausburn | 9/17/2013

    " Not her best, but she is still one of my favs! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon | 8/24/2013

    " excellent writing. It is no wonder that Jennifer Haigh is a winner of the PEN/Hemmingway Award "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 7/8/2013

    " The book jacket will tell you that this is the story of a young woman with Turner syndrome. True enough, but this novel goes well beyond your typical Girl Overcomes Adversity plot. Gwen is but one member of the spectacularly uncommunicative McKotch family. Highly recommended. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 7/2/2013

    " I loved this book so much. I can't think of a single thing wrong with it. Never once did I feel like skimming or putting it down. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tj | 1/5/2013

    " I have had congealed oatmeal that was a better read than this. I am sooo disappointed because I have rated other books by this author very highly. I will read her next book but if that disappoints too, then I will give up on her. Very similar to Julia Glass for me: started out so well and then... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie Wilkins | 6/12/2012

    " This book had great characters that were very relatable, and involved interesting family dynamics. I was sad at the end, only because it was ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marie | 5/29/2012

    " Interesting - I liked the changing perspectives of the different family members, and how each was searching for happiness in their own way, but none could really understand how the other was finding it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pam | 5/28/2012

    " Although it jumps around a bit, and sometimes is hard to follow, I did enjoy it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Briel | 5/13/2012

    " Just okay. I really don't like dysfunctional family books. Period. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jana | 4/27/2012

    " I was disappointed in this book after reading glowing reviews. It's about a dysfunctional family with a daughter who stops growing before entering puberty (the "condition") and how it affects the family. It could have been a lot more interesting but wasn't (to me). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rosemarie | 3/14/2012

    " Loved it. A great story. Would like to read more of her work. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Brenda | 9/10/2011

    " Gave it 100 pages, characters are awful "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kim | 6/25/2011

    " It was okay; an easy read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 5/13/2011

    " Kind of a weird book....not really sure what to say about it!? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Remy | 5/11/2011

    " A little messy, but overall i would say a good vacation read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 5/10/2011

    " Another free kindle read and I enjoyed it. An interesting story about family dynamics and relationships as everyone grows older and changes. Thoughtful and compelling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Denise | 5/8/2011

    " I am always taken with books about families, about the unforgivable being forgiven, and the role of perspective. I loved this; it reminded me of _We Were the Mulvaneys_. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Isabelrt | 4/14/2011

    " I must say I was a bit skeptic when I first picked up this book, but it turned out to be a page-turner. The intertwinning stories are gripping, and your mental picture of the whole family keeps changing as the relationships between them are seen from different angles. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 3/19/2011

    " This was a book full of characters I absolutely hated, yet Haigh convinced me that I wanted to know what happened to them. Good writing, even if I'm glad that's not my family. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karin | 3/8/2011

    " I expected more. With the title, I assumed that the book would focus more on the character with "the condition" . . . though this was not the case. "

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About the Author
Author Jennifer Haigh

Jennifer Haigh is the author of the New York Times bestseller Baker Towers, winner of the 2006 L. L. Winship / PEN New England Award; Mrs. Kimble, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction and finalist for the Book Sense Book of the Year; and The Condition. Her fiction has appeared in Granta, Ploughshares, Good Housekeeping, and elsewhere. She lives in the Boston area.

About the Narrator

Jennifer Van Dyck has appeared on Broadway in Hedda Gabler, Dancing at Lughnasa, Two Shakespearean Actors, and The Secret Rapture. She has been in new plays by Keith Bunin, Ellen McLaughlin, Catherine Filloux, Douglas Post, A. R. Gurney, and Albert Innaurato. Her film and television credits include Series 7, States of Control, Bullets over Broadway, numerous Law & Order episodes, Ed, Spin City, and The Education of Max Bickford. Her audiobook narrations have won her three AudioFile Earphones Awards.