Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fin & Lady by Cathleen Schine

Fin & Lady by Cathleen Schine is a sweet novel about half siblings in New York in the turbulent 1960s.

Fin is 11 when his mother dies, leaving him an orphan. His father, also dead, had a daughter by a previous marriage, and Lady is the only family Fin has left. Lady is 23, and not exactly the model guardian. She retrieves Fin and his dog Gus from the Connecticut farm where he grew up and takes him back to New York City with her.

Lady is a wild child, a glamorous figure Fin hardly knows. She’s seeking something, and even she is not sure what. Fin is seeking a family, and he finds it, awkwardly, in Lady and her black maid Mabel.

Lady is the kind of person everyone falls in love with. She has multiple suitors and three in particular. Fin has a favorite, a Hungarian named Biffi, and Fin adds Biffi to his family as well, although Lady is reluctant to settle down with any of them.

The dialog in Fin & Lady is smart, a little too smart sometimes, but enjoyable. Information about the 1960s is woven into the plot in a believable way for the most part. Fin is always reading, various real books that also reflect on the times and Fin’s life with Lady.

I liked spending time with Fin and Lady, and I enjoyed Cathleen Schine’s writing style. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a nice character-driven novel. Fin & Lady can be found at the Galesburg Public in both regular Fiction and Large Print.

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