The Conditions of Love
Dale M. Kushner's debut novel is a masterpiece bursting at the seams with lyric poetry disguised as prose. Her novel follows the emotionally graphic tribulations of Eunice from her youth in Wisconsin to early adulthood. Eunice is bounced from home to home by her Mother, Mern, and other adults notable only for lacking the maturity of a pet turtle. While Eunice attempts to make sense the world and the irresponsible adults around her, she takes stock of her situation with an artist's eyes and heart.
Kushner has a divine understanding of the ties that bind people in relationships. "The Conditions of Love" is rife with truths about man's equally selfish and selfless need to experience love in its many forms. Eunice might be the central player, but the hero of this tale is Love. Eunice experiences many kinds of loss. Before and after each misadventure she seeks solace in the stable relationships of her past and present: Mr. Tabachnik, a kind neighbor; her adopted guardian, Rose; Sam, a misguided role model. Although she may often be lonely, Eunice does not experience the destitution of abandonment.
Kushner's writing consists of equal parts reverence for the human condition and sympathy for the pain that is a necessary part of that condition. This novel is an engrossing read and difficult to put down. Although some of the events of this novel are formulaic, the ebb and flow of Kushner's writing are unique and well worth a read.
"The Conditions of Love"
Dale M. Kushner