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They May Not Mean To, But They Do: A Novel by [Cathleen Schine]
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They May Not Mean To, But They Do: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 324 ratings

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Length: 306 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


Praise for They May Not Mean To, But They Do

“Cathleen Schine [is] one of our most realistically imaginative, dependably readable novelists. . . [H]er ten books comprise a sly, illuminating corpus that seems more related to the English comic novel than to most contemporary American fiction. [S]hapely and precisely structured. . . ruefully satiric. . . buoyant. . . sharply observant. . . Her tenth and newest novel . . . cuts deeper, feels fuller and more ambitious, and seems to me her best.” ―Phillip Lopate, New York Review of Books

They May Not Mean To, But They Do is a very funny novel. . . . This is a situation plenty of readers will recognize. . . . Schine reminds us that a family is as united by its trials as by its triumphs. . . . Schine writes with economy and style. . . . Deftly handled storytelling.” ―Penelope Lively, The New York Times Book Review

“Schine’s painfully beautiful depiction of a woman’s heroism in the face of that abyss offers, like the best literature, a reminder of the tender, frightening vulnerability we all share.” ―Los Angeles Review of Books

“This marvelous novel is emotionally stirring and hilarious on virtually every page. How does Cathleen Schine know everything about everything? Her observations about family life, friendship, loss, aging, dignity, indignity, and the attachments we miraculously make that never seem to unattach are profound and rewarding. I already miss living in the world of this special and winning book.” ―Meg Wolitzer, author of The Interestings

“Cathleen Schine has written an entirely different kind of coming-of-age novel. This is not about how a twentysomething becomes a thirtysomething. It’s about how people making the difficult and at times scary journey into old old age figure out how to live. And it’s about the people who surround them―with love, anxiety, resentment, and sometimes complete misunderstanding. They May Not Mean To, But They Do is a great read: empathetic, and also very, very funny.” ―Roz Chast, author of Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

“Oh, but you do need Schine's novel. At least, you do if you're a reader who relishes acute psychological perceptions and lots of laughs to leaven the existential grimness, like those other literary domestic goddesses to whom she's sometimes compared, Jane Austen and Nora Ephron . . . Does anyone really ever do anyone else any good? That's the question this sparkling and sad novel mulls over and answers with a wry shrug.” ―Maureen Corrigan, NPR

“This is one of those laugh-out-loud-on-the-subway novels, but it also manages to be sad and authentic . . . [S]he tells a story that is tender, wise, hilarious and painful. Give this book to your siblings and your parents: everyone will find a passage to love.” ―Toronto Star

“[A] hugely satisfying novel.” ―Minneapolis Star Tribune

"A seamless blend of humor and heartbreak." ―Miami Herald

“Schine has a gift for transforming the pathos and comedy of everyday life into luminous fiction.” ―Entertainment Weekly

“Schine’s latest novel combines the dark, pithy humor of a Lorrie Moore short story with quieter insights into aging, death, and the love, loneliness, and incomprehension that gets passed back and forth between generations.” ―Tablet

“A deeply affecting yet very funny intergenerational novel . . . the novel is as humorous as it is compassionate . . . They May Not Mean To, but They Do has an extra layer of depth and dignity, making for a profound but very readable novel that is among her very best.” ―Bookpage

“[They May Not Mean To, But They Do] showcase[s] Schine’s intuitive empathy, and any adult with an aged parent will recognize [Joy’s] children’s well-meaning concern.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Schine once again captures the love laced with guilt and sardonic humor that keeps generations of New York families together, whether they like it or not.” ―Booklist

“Schine is a master at limning family dynamics in all their messiness . . . Replete with aging parents, grandchildren growing up faster than one would like, and adult children wanting to take charge but being stifles by their mother’s stubbornness, this could be any reader’s clan. In addition, Schine’s ability to shift seamlessly from one person’s point of view to another’s adds depth and richness.” ―Library Journal

“With its unexpected moments of profundity and laugh-aloud humor, Cathleen Schine’s novel movingly demonstrates how parents and children may not mean to but they do, ultimately, strain yet sustain one another.” ―Lilith Magazine

Praise for Fin & Lady

"Schine's writing sparkles, and her finale proves as unexpected and luminous as love itself." ―People

"Weighty themes are addressed with subtlety and grace . . . An utterly believable fictional world. As the novel draws to its conclusion, it may well break your heart with joy." ―O, The Oprah Magazine

Praise for The Three Weissmanns of Westport

“And off races the sparkling, crisp, clever, deft, hilarious and deeply affecting new novel by Cathleen Schine, her best yet, The Three Weissmanns of Westport . . . Schine’s homage [to Jane Austen] has it all: stinging social satire, mordant wit, delicate charm, lilting language and cosseting materialistic detail . . . Schine is clearly a writer who loves to read as much as she loves to write. And it is great fun to play English major with her.” ―Dominique Browning, The New York Times Book Review

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

"Schine is perceptive, even breathtaking, in her observations." ―The New York Times Book Review

--This text refers to the paperback edition.

About the Author

Cathleen Schine is the author of "Fin & Lady," " ""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." She lives in Los Angeles. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • File size : 5279 KB
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • ASIN : B01828WGCQ
  • Print length : 306 pages
  • Publisher : Sarah Crichton Books (June 7, 2016)
  • Publication date : June 7, 2016
  • Language: : English
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.0 out of 5 stars 324 ratings

Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5
324 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on January 29, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

1.0 out of 5 stars Quite boring, actually
Reviewed in Canada on June 24, 2016
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2 people found this helpful
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Kathleen Morrell
4.0 out of 5 stars They may not mean to...
Reviewed in Canada on April 19, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars L'Chaim (To Life)
Reviewed in Canada on August 10, 2016
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Aging Process
Reviewed in Canada on July 19, 2016
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4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect holiday read
Reviewed in Australia on November 5, 2016
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