SDR Book of the Week: Fin and Lady
[This review was written for the Spencer Daily Reporter]
Fin & Lady, by Cathleen Schine. Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 273 pp. $26
Eleven-year-old Fin has just become an orphan. He’s worn his suit only three times, and even though it’s only a year old it’s already too small.
His mother’s death wasn’t necessarily a surprise: she had been sick for a while and he knew that she went to treatments at the hospital.
What he wasn’t expecting, however, was the arrival of his half-sister into his life. Lady, a “loose cannon” in the words of their shared father, took him away from his (as he had now inherited it) quaint Connecticut dairy farm and into her Greenwich Village life. It was 1964, and she was something of a free spirit.
What emerges in Cathleen Schine’s “Fin and Lady” is a love story unique unto itself, though no less endearing and emotional than other, more conventional, love stories. Fin and Lady learn to rely on each other and become an unconventional family of their own. Lady takes care of Fin as motherly as she can. Fin plays the part of the concerned brother. He’s considerably younger than her, and he hadn’t seen her in six years before she showed up at his mother’s funeral, but he assumes the position as man of the house, and he wants to protect her from men whose intentions are less than pure.
Shine is perhaps best known for her previous book, “The Three Weissmanns of Westport,” which was both a New York Times bestseller and an editors’ choice for the New York Times Book Review.