I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Fin & Lady by Cathleen Schine
Genres: Historical, Humorous, Literary
It’s 1964. Eleven-year-old Fin and his glamorous, worldly, older half sister, Lady, have just been orphaned, and Lady, whom Fin hasn’t seen in six years, is now his legal guardian and his only hope. That means Fin is uprooted from a small dairy farm in rural Connecticut to Greenwich Village, smack in the middle of the swinging ’60s. He soon learns that Lady—giddy, careless, urgent, and obsessed with being free—is as much his responsibility as he is hers.
So begins Fin & Lady, the lively, spirited new novel by Cathleen Schine, the author of the bestselling The Three Weissmanns of Westport. Fin and Lady lead their lives against the background of the ’60s, the civil rights movement, and the Vietnam War—Lady pursued by ardent, dogged suitors, Fin determined to protect his impulsive sister from them and from herself. As Lady’s itinerant streak leads the pair to Italy and eventually to Capri, their trials force them to take stock of what really matters, and to ask: What does it mean to be a family?
Understanding family is a thoughtful process.
Amanda’s note: Say hey to Chris, the boyfriend’s mom, who’s returned to the blog to review another book for me.
Thoughts on Fin & Lady
As a child of the sixties, the story of Fin & Lady was a gentle reminder of what was so important to us at that time. Vietnam, civil rights, the Draft and more are all running through the background during the unfolding of the story.
This is my first audiobook, and my reaction to the book may very well be slanted because of this. Amanda asked me to review Fin & Lady because she knows I will try almost anything, especially something new.
I mistakenly thought I would need a road trip to listen to an audiobook to maintain continuity. Wrong! I listened only during my 15 minute twice daily commute and while running errands. I did not lose the thread at all. Instead of me suspending the story by turning off the car, it was as if the story was suspending me until it was time to begin again. Amazing!
The almost lyrical words of the author melded magically with the timbre and the cadence and the beauty of the reader’s voice. I was hooked. Schine plays with words like a poet. For example, young Fin is talking with one of Lady’s suitors. Finn says “Love is like an idea in your mind?” The suitor replies “No – love is an idea in your heart.”
Because this is a quiet and thoughtful story rather than a fast paced mystery, thriller, or paranormal romance, I thought it was well suited for an audiobook. I honestly do not think it would have held the interest of my wandering mind had I read it.
I identified with Fin and was baffled by the outrageous thought processes of Lady. I was amused by the fact that Fin and Lady were so wealthy that money played no part in the direction of the book. This made it easy for the author to play with the characters. I was lead very skillfully to the satisfying, if unexpected, conclusion.