Mary Poser is a cleverly crafted, delightful, and entertaining read.
Mary was from a strict Baptist home, and according to her mother, it was a sin to fall in love with a Hindu practicing man. The problem was, though, that Mary had fallen for Simha, an Indian film producer from the moment she had met him. Mary was a people pleaser to the extreme, so to keep peace, she knew that she’d have to deny herself the pleasure of Simha’s company. But, Mary couldn’t resist Simha’s charms, and the guilt of being with him almost did her in. Mary didn’t know whether she should choose her family and give up her happiness or choose happiness and give up the peaceful relationship she had with her family.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This novel is well-written with quirky characters, witty dialogue, and funny situations. The book touched on many serious subjects, such as racism, homosexuality, self-harm, self-acceptance, and love. In the end, as Mary discovered, there is only love.
Many thanks to the publisher, and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.
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.