The Conditions of Love
“I felt an enormous sadness shoot through my chest, and my eyes burned with tears. It frightened me how much I loved him; I wanted to call him back from wherever he was going, but in a rush of knowledge I realized my daddy was a tricky, dangerous man, and I could never trust his love.”
The Conditions of Love traces the journey of a girl from childhood to adulthood as she reckons with her parents’ abandonment, her need to break from society’s limitations, and her overwhelming desire for spiritual and erotic love. In 1953, ten-year-old Eunice lives in the backwaters of Wisconsin with her outrageously narcissistic mother, a manicureeste and movie star worshipper. Abandoned by her father as an infant, Eunice worries that she will become a misfit like her mother. Rescued from a freak storm by the shaman-like Rose, Eunice’s odyssey continues with a stay in a hermit’s shack and ends with a passionate love affair with an older man. At once fable and realistic story, The Conditions of Love is a book about emotional and physical survival.
Three Madison-area bookstores have signed hardcover and paperback copies of The Conditions of Love which you can buy in person or order for shipment. Be sure to specify in your order that you want a signed copy.
Arcadia Books (use code FREESHIP 14 to get Free Shipping)
Read a Q&A with Dale M. Kushner here.
Listen to the beginning of the Audiobook version of The Conditions of Love by Dale Kushner narrated by Tara Ochs:Click to read an excerpt »
Eunice grows up fighting for love from the people who should love her unconditionally but is bolstered by love from unexpected sources…Eunice is a lonely, artistic girl who grows into a temperamental young woman whose strength and capacity for love belie her tough upbringing. This is poet Kushner’s first novel, and her roots show; passages describing even the bleakest Midwestern landscapes are artfully drawn. A coming-of-age story that wonderfully combines literary style with heartbreaking plot twists and still manages to be uplifting—