Fin and Lady

Cathleen Schine, Author
Cathleen Schine. FSG/Sarah Crichton, $26 (272p) ISBN 9780374154905
Reviewed on: 05/20/2013
Release date: 07/09/2013
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4668-3708-9
Hardcover - 405 pages - 978-1-4104-6196-4
Ebook - 153 pages - 978-1-4721-1078-7
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-250-05005-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-4272-3154-3
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4272-3655-5
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-1-4721-1129-6
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-1-4721-1128-9
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Schine’s new novel (after Alice in Bed) is an entertaining, sometimes perplexing exploration of family bonds and bondage. When Fin is orphaned at the age of 11, Lady, his half-sister, takes him in, pulling him away from the dairy farm in rural Connecticut to the Greenwich Village of the mid-1960s. Lady has always been a shining figure to Fin, who was too young to understand the falling-out she had with their father. Now, Fin and Lady form an unconventional family, set against a tumultuous political and social climate. At times the novel has echoes of Auntie Mame; at others, Dawn Powell. The narrator’s voice is used so sparingly as to intrude when it is used, and the reader gets ahead of the story in figuring out who this shadowy figure is in the tale. The bond between Fin and Lady is strong, but the story itself breaks little new ground and doesn’t reveal anything new about the era or the longings of those experiencing it. Schine writes lively dialogue and excels at sensory detail, especially early on, before the plot becomes predictable, as the novel wavers precariously between satiric comedy-of-manners and something more serious. Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Agency. (July)
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