Set in the Midwest in the last years of the fifties, The Conditions of Love traces the life of young Eunice from her turbulent childhood to the present in three parts. We first meet ten-year-old Eunice as a lonely, sensitive, imaginative girl living with her maliciously funny and self-absorbed mother Mern. (A manicureeste. Think Lucille Ball with a narcissistic character disorder.) Searching for a steadfast love, Eunice dreams of reconnecting with her long-lost 'Hollywood handsome' father, but she is crushed when, on the brink of marriage, her mother abruptly kicks out the unfailingly helpful but unglamorous Sam. Mother and daughter resettle in the resort town of Turtle Lake where Mern imagines she will now find the captivating man of her dreams. In the third part of the novel, fate intervenes in Eunice's life in the person of the alluring Fox, a man twice her age. On Fox's farm, Eunice drops the husks of childhood and explores her own desires, seeking to understand: how do we survive love? How do we understand our fate? How do we transform and transcend the past?