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Fin & Lady: A Novel Hardcover – July 9, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for The Three Weissmanns of Westport

“Full of invention, wit, and wisdom that can bear comparison to Austen’s own.” —The New York Review of Books

“A clever, frothy novel . . . Schine playfully probes the lies, self-deceptions, and honorable hearts of her characters.” —The New Yorker

About the Author

Cathleen Schine is the author of The Three Weissmanns of Westport, The New Yorkers, and The Love Letter, among other novels. She has contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, and The New York Times Book Review.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books; First Edition edition (July 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374154902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374154905
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #709,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cathleen Schine is the author of The New Yorkers and The Love Letter, among other novels. She has contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, and The New York Times Book Review.

Customer Reviews

I did love the characters.
Ragen R. Stienke
Interesting characters and good story line.
geo49e
It took me a long time to read this book.
Deborah

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on July 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I laughed out loud and there were moments when tears came to my eyes as I flew through Schine's
beautifully written evocation of this unconventional 'family' rearing itself in the 60s. The characters are
so real and so well conceived that I was drawn in by all of then; even then wonderful secondary
characters like Mabel and Phoebe etc. Read this one! You won't be sorry.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jan on July 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First of all a reader cannot help but love Fin and Lady. For the boy first introduced to us when he is approximately eleven, Fin is so astute about life in general and the character of all those around him. Fin came into Lady's life just when she needed him, and he certainly needed her. Being of the generation of Greenwich Village in the sixties I loved the settings! After reading this novel I now plan on reading every one of Cathleen Schine's eight other books.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Unsis Scopenkeeper on July 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a confessed Schine fan and especially fall for the sublime texture of the worlds and the characters who inhabit, them that she draws in her novels. With her unusually keen eye for human relations, Finn and Lady is a wonderful story of half siblings ( even that is a funny vision)thrown into a world of emotional hurt, who find great strength and love from and with each other. Her narration twist is just breathtaking! Another Book Group must!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By cyntelligence on August 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Fin and Lady is the enchanting story of two half siblings, over a decade apart in age, who become a family. Fin first meets his big sister when, at 18, Lady has left her groom at the altar and run away to Europe. Fin and his parents, (his father also Lady's father), chase her across Europe, finally catching up with her on the isle of Capri. The father passes away a few years later, leaving Fin and his mother penniless. They in turn move in with Fin's grandparents on a dairy farm in rural Connecticut. Over the next several years both grandparents and then Fin's mother, die, leaving 11 year old Fin an orphan. Enter 24 year old Lady as Fin's guardian. She arrives in Connecticut in her convertible and whisks Fin and beloved collie Gus off to Manhattan's Greenwich village : the year is 1964.

Lady is a Holly go-lightly type and a man magnet with her ethereal beauty and charm, Fin is just a little boy trying to make sense of the cards life has dealt him, as well as the turbulent nature of the world in the sixties. From Greenwich Village, to the isle of Capri, the characters and scenery and situations are painted so beautifully by Ms. Schine. One of my favorite books of the summer.
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30 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Amelia Gremelspacher TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For much of this book, the narrator is unnamed and unidentified. In fact it is a bit before we know the narrator exists. Fin is the informant, and it is primarily his life we follow. At eleven, he is orphaned and taken from all he knows to Manhattan by his half sister Lady. He knew her sketchily of course. Once he had traveled with his enraged father to retrieve her from Capri after she had left her fiancé at the alter. Now it is an open question, who is raising whom?

Fin is an intriguing character who rejects the role of victimized, neglected child in favor of his own interests. There is a crush, Phoebe. And he has been entrusted with finding his sister a husband within the year. There are in fact the somewhat familiar number of suitors, three. He has a favorite, Biffi, and is struggling to promote his choice. But even in this passage, i was haunted by another book, The Odyssey, when he is left for a time with the cranky suitors who remain and eat and sleep at his home with Lady. He has Mabel, the maid, who is frankly cranky about children and dogs, but predictably comes to nurture him. He develops long walks and creates scenarios. He is altogether a sprightly, witty child. Schine is able to escape the wise child cliche, and I enjoyed his many facets.

I am sad to say however, Lady is very familiar. She may have been Auntie Mame once upon a generation. Now she is the ghostly incarnation of the band follower in Almost Famous whose real name is lady. One enchanting phrase calls her jerky jerky. Otherwise she is a familiar flower child with a bit of money. In fact The Odyssey appears again with its siren call of Capri. She has her moments, as when she reminds Fin that the shelter of his childhood is not really there.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Is it possible to like a book without particularly liking one of the two main characters? I suppose it is, which is why I've given Cathleen Schine's new novel, "Fin & Lady" four stars.

Fin Hadley is an eleven year old orphan in 1964. His father has died a bit earlier from heart failure and his mother dies at the beginning of the book from cancer. An only child, Fin has also recently lost his grandparents. The only one around to take custody of young Fin is his half-sister, Lady. Lady is the daughter of his father by his first marriage. Father and daughter had had a difficult relationship, but Lady knew her duty and she swept in and took Fin back to New York City and prepared to raise him. Lady Hadley is one of those irritating people we've all come across in our lives. That young, free-spirit, going from place to place, person to person. Never settling down and never bearing the responsibility for another. But along with custody of Fin comes responsibility that is difficult for Lady to take. But, somehow, she manages to do so, albeit in her own flighty way.

Even with Fin to take care of, Lady is not going to live the conventional life of her wealthy WASP cohorts. No living on the Upper East Side for Lady and Fin; they have a town house in the Village and live among the artsy and the druggy. Lady is SO charming that she has three beaus who want her and they each vie for her attention. (I pictured Shirley MacClaine in "Terms of Endearment", sitting at the dinner table, with three beaus hanging on her every word!). But as Fin ages in the Village and makes his own friends and connections, he stays with Lady, though she does one unconventional thing after another, finally ending up on Capri and there the story comes to a climax.
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