Conditioned is a character-driven, emotionally charged, and well thought-out novel. The story focuses on several flawed people, defense mechanisms, and destructive behaviors, such as alcohol abuse, infidelity, narcissism, abusiveness, manipulation, co-dependency, lying, and low self-esteem. The book also covers dysfunctional relationships and mental illness. Conditioned, captured my attention and emotions as the author brought me into the intimate lives of his characters. One of my favorite characters was Martha. My heart went out to her as I witnessed her continually give of herself, to her narcissistic alcoholic husband, only to have him abuse her, and her family and friends shun her. Martha was so obsessed with being the perfect wife that she lost herself in the process. The author does a superb job describing human behavior patterns and imperfections. He places the reader into the mind of several of his characters, one of them being Martha, where he clearly describes Martha’s denial and co-dependent thought process.
One common thread I noticed in this book was that as difficult as pain is to endure, it is almost always the needed catalyst for growth and change to occur.
If you are looking for a book to hijack your emotions and pull your heartstrings, then Conditioned is the book for you.
~5 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover