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The Conditions of Love – tekijä: Dale M.…

The Conditions of Love (vuoden 2014 painos)

– tekijä: Dale M. Kushner

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
465435,896 (4.1)-
"A first novel about a young girl who is looking for love and guidance from her Auntie Mame mother and her absent father" --
Teoksen nimi:The Conditions of Love
Kirjailijat:Dale M. Kushner
Info:Grand Central Publishing (2014), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 384 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):****
Avainsanoja:literary, fictional biography, fictional memoir, romance, family, love, fiction, historical, fifties, sixties

Teoksen tarkat tiedot

The Conditions of Love (tekijä: Dale M. Kushner)


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näyttää 5/5
The well-written bildungsroman is a lost art. Dale Kushner has resurrected it in all its glories.

The novel takes us on a journey with Eunice, starting in Midwestern 1950s. The focus of this tale of a girl growing up is on the love relationships in her life, and how she navigates them, along with their pitfalls, dangers, exhilarations, sorrows, tragedies, and triumphs.

This is an incredibly well-written debut novel, with the depth of feeling, gift with language, and heart of a much more experienced writer. It has tremendous wisdom in it, and just the right amount of flights of poetic language here to raise the heart and soul up into its beauty. In particular, the story of Fox and Eunice has a tender and tragic beauty and timelessness reminiscent of the greatest romantic couples. Kushner has a talent for infusing the tragic, infinite, and timeless qualities of love and heartache into the most mundane moments and events. ( )
  ChayaLovesToRead | Jun 2, 2018 |
I didn't love this book. All the other reader reviews I've read loved it, so I'm missing something. It is an odd book about an odd girl who lives an odd life. The book is really about love, and kinds of love. The protagonist is a young girl who we watch grow to adulthood. (Although the "adult" part is really just the last few pages of the book, almost an epilogue.) In each of the three parts of the book Eunice explores a different kind of love: first, love for her eccentric mother and absent, idolized father; second, love for the wise woodswoman who rescues her; and third, infatuation and physical love for a much older man named Fox. The book moves slowly and is filled with odd characters who live unusual lives.

I did feel sorry for Eunice, growing up the way she did. I felt she made some bad choices, but they are understandable. She is young, and doesn't have a lot of great role models. I hoped for more for her. The "epilogue" does let us know how she eventually became an artist, but that section seems "tacked on," and hard to accept, given the story we have read about her earlier life.

Not a bad book, and pretty well written, but just not my cup of tea, I guess. ( )
  cherybear | Aug 30, 2014 |
The girl who kept going

The Conditions of Love by Dale M. Kushner (Grand Central Publishing, $14).

This debut novel by established poet Dale M. Kushner is a coming-of-age story set in small-town Illinois in the 1950s. Eunice is a 10-year-old, abandoned early on by her father and raised by her unstable, Hollywood-besotted mother, Mern.

Mern does not have good taste in men, and they come and go with alarming frequency.

This leaves young Eunice yearning for love and attention, but always unable to hold on to it for long. A catastrophic flood results in Eunice and Mern’s separation, and she lives for a while with Rose, a nature-lover of the proto-hippie type. Eunice blossoms, though she continues to struggle with what it means to love and be loved; this arrangement falls apart, too, and she is shipped off to a foster family. Eventually, Eunice finds romance with a farmer, Fox, but she has internalized the idea that love is not reliable and is always beset with conditions.

Kushner’s language is lush and poetic, resulting in a polished, literary novel. It’s also powerful in terms of the portrayal of how resilience develops over time; Eunice is a lovable heroine, and each time she picks herself up and moves on, readers are rooting for her.

Reviewed on Lit/Rant: www.litrant.tumblr.com ( )
  KelMunger | Aug 19, 2014 |
I'm torn over how I feel about this book; on one hand, it indeed is a beautiful portrait of how love manifests in the life of Eunice, but on the other, it moves so lethargically, that oftentimes I found myself zoning out, and even skimming towards the end because I just wanted to be finished. You have to have a lot of patience to appreciate a book like The Conditions of Love.

Because the book is split up into three distinct sections that trace the different types of love Eunice experiences in each one, it was like reading three separate stories, all fluidly interconnected.

The first part, in which Eunice comes to terms with accepting being abandoned by her highly glorified father, reads historically. It will definitely induce nostalgia for children of the fifties, and for any younger generations, it will feel like reading about your own grandmother's childhood—a deeply troubled childhood at that, but nonetheless lushly told. It's a solid introduction to our protagonist, and it moves with stunning detail and clarity.

The second part is languid, almost mystical, and drags on as time does throughout the novel. I love how Kushner paces Eunice's teenage years—in which she learns to love a mother figure of a stranger—to mimic how unhurriedly her own life passes at this sage.

The third part definitely has its exciting, wholly erotic moments, but honestly it was the wordiest for me. I pretty much lost interest in Eunice's keen, but unnecessarily lengthy, observations on everything, and began to skim this section, which is probably why some of the story might be lost on me.

This is hardly a devastating critique, however. Overall, I was highly impressed with Kushner's vivid flourish to a theatrically set, poignant first novel.

Pros: Gorgeously written // Eunice is well versed and lovable // Emotionally turbulent // Strongly personified characters

Cons: Very dense and slow moving (but never boring)

Verdict: Dazzlingly detailed, remarkably poised, and wise to its perceptive core, Dale M. Kushner's debut novel is a fictional young woman's autobiographical account of love's grandest entrances and most devastating exits throughout her life. While I was not a huge fan of how slowly the book moved, especially towards the end, I will never forget Eunice's heartbreaks, nor the striking cast of characters. A fascinating following of an ordinary girl's maturation and its extraordinary moments, The Conditions of Love strongly creates a sense of longing for a woman you've only met through paper.

Rating: 7 out of 10 hearts (4 stars): Not perfect, but overall enjoyable; borrow, don't buy!

Source: Complimentary copy provided by tour publicist via publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, TLC and Hachette!). ( )
  stephanieloves | Jun 13, 2014 |
This was a curious story and felt a little "off beat". I found Eunice to be for the most part a likable girl. You really felt for her, and her lot in life. While I couldn't identify with Eunice on a personal level (while I was raised by a divorced mother in borderline poverty, my mother sacrificed for us kids and did everything she could for us), I felt like I knew Eunice. She resembled many girls (and boys) that I have known in my life. Kids who never had enough-- enough food, enough attention, enough schooling, enough guidance, enough love, enough of anything except perhaps more than enough hits and barbed words thrown their way-- and kids who grew up way too fast.

Eunice's mother Mern never wanted to be a mother. She even insists Eunice call her by her first name rather than "Ma". She is self-centered and self-absorbed, putting her needs and desires before that of her young daughter. She's always seeking happiness and self-worth in strange men. Her moods are mercurial, wavering from resentment toward Eunice and the demands of a child, to wanting to cuddle Eunice and be her best friend.

Eunice longs for a father she doesn't remember, and other men take on the role of father figure, from Mr. Tabachnik who lives downstairs and has sweet nicknames for her like "CC Dumpling", to her mother's new live-in boyfriend Sam, sweet and gentle Sam who brings life to the house and cares tenderly for Eunice.

And later there is the enigmatic animal-loving wood nymph Rose, who becomes a mother figure to Eunice and teaches her much about independence, survival and self-reliance.

And later still, the moody Fox who is drawn to her and captures her imagination.

My final word: The characters were well-drawn, leaving me with an understanding of who they were and why they behaved the way they did. The story reminds me of Mr. Tabachnik's advice to Eunice: "Mr. Tabachnik placed a trembling hand on the crown of my head and bent to kiss me. Out of the ugly and terrible comes beauty. I shouldn't forget, he said."

That's how this story was. It was a little dreary and depressing, and yet beautiful. Heartbreaking and yet uplifting. And while I found it sweet and gentle and moving, I fear that it will also be forgettable. I don't think this will be one of those stories that haunts me. We were two passing ships in the night, this story and I. And that's okay. We had a good night. ( )
  nfmgirl2 | May 13, 2014 |
näyttää 5/5
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"A first novel about a young girl who is looking for love and guidance from her Auntie Mame mother and her absent father" --

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