Friday, December 20, 2013

Review: Fin & Lady by Cathleen Schine

A surprise - one of my required MRC long list books. Slow take off, but I  found that once launched, I couldn't put it down. Quietly spell-binding. Not a barn burner, but deep, multi-dimensional character development driving a mundane plot.

The story has all the elements of a stereotypical quirky beach romance, but it manages to rise above the chick-lit level by having the story narrated by an 11 year old orphan Fin who goes to live with his uber-bohemian older half-sister Lady after his mother dies.  He is forced to leave his beloved farm in Connecticut and learns to fend for himself under Lady's benign neglect.   The story is a gentle, charming and bitter-sweet tale of his coming of age living part time in Greenwich Village and on an island off the coast of Italy, while  Lady decides whether to marry as she goes through a succession of male companions trying to choose a mate from among them.

The surprise ending brings the story full circle. I don't want to spoil it for you.  A delightful and satisfying read.  Many thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

Title: Fin & Lady
Author: Cathleen Schine
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books (2013), Hardcover, 288 pgs
Genre: Literary fiction
Subject: sibling relationships
Setting: Greenwich Village; Capri, Italy
Source: Review copy from publisher
Why did I read this book now? It's being considered for the Maine Reader's Choice Award.


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