Fin & Lady: A Novel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Fin & Lady: A Novel

by
3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  3,197 ratings  ·  656 reviews
From the author of The Three Weissmanns of Westport, a wise, clever story of New York in the ’60s


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 Gree...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published July 9th 2013 by Sarah Crichton Books (first published July 1st 2013)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Fin & Lady, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Fin & Lady

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jessica Jeffers
I say this all the time, but I am sucker for a good coming-of-age tale. Give a kid a difficult time that forces him or her to deal with things too quickly, set it in the recent past, and I readily present my heartstrings for you to tug at will.

This book has all of those elements: By the time he's eleven, Fin has lost his father, mother, and grandparents. His legal guardianship falls to his twentysomething half-sister, Lady, who hasn't really been part of his life before, aside from a trip his f...more
Lisa Creane
This book was too meandering to capture and hold my attention. I read pages without remembering what specifically was going on, and didn't bother to go back and figure it out. Part of the problem was the character of Lady, who's unstable and detached and in charge of raising her young brother, which is scary. That she has people who love her is shocking. That they help her raise Fin is salvation.

The story is, until the end, told by Fin, who also loves Lady though again I'm not sure why. He foll...more
Lauren
This felt very slight as I was reading it but it has grown in weight in the week since I finished.

The novel is about a young boy Fin who is raised by his older half-sister Lady. She is charismatic, unpredictable and flighty and there is a bit of a question regarding who is really raising who.

The novel is really about love, though, and making your own family. It's comically romantic, or romantically comic, the way all of Schine's novels are.

There are also wonderful allusions to the Odyssey.
Lisa
This is, plain and simple, a fairy tale for adults. It has all the right ingredients: Orphans both literal and figurative, innocence in many forms (and only a slight, very palatable loss thereof), beauty, youth, several quests in the name of love (including three-count-em-three suitors), Greenwich Village in the 1960s and turquoise grottoes off the Isle of Capri, and a good dog whose only purpose in the story is to be a good dog.

It's the tale of 11-year-old Fin, who goes to live with his beauti...more
Melissa Rochelle
I loved Lady. I loved Fin. I loved this book. At the beginning of this book, we discover Fin is now an orphan. His father died when he was very young and his mother has died. The only family he has left is his eccentric, much-older sister Lady. Fin has only met her once before when he was five (he's now eleven), but he has fond memories of his time with her.

As I read, I slowly began to realize that someone close to Fin is telling the story, but it wasn't until the very end that I realized who i...more
Debbie
I found this delightful, funny and wry and touching. Eleven year old Fin goes to live with his rather irresponsible older sister in Greenwich Village He had been living on a dairy farm in Connecticut. Fin has already suffered too much loss in his young life, and is fearful of Lady shipping him off to boarding school or some other horror. Lady (that is her first name) is torn between being a proper young lady of the early sixties, at 24 she considers herself an old maid, and the desire to remain...more
Rhea
Oh my gosh, this is the last time I read a book that I don't have a really sure recommendation on. Well, probably not, but this one did not pan out. The writing is all telling, not showing, and enjoying the book really hinges on the reader liking Lady, who is an insufferably privileged drip. I liked Fin, but not enough to finish his story. I gave this book 150 pages before I decided to move on to better things! Life is too short for boring books about the 1960's in Greenwich Village - if you can...more
Darlene
I listened to the audio version of this book. It was written by Cathleen Schine and narrated by Anne Twomey.This wonderful story begins in 1964. Fin Hadley is an 11year old boy who had been living with his mother on her childhood dairy farm in rural Connecticut until she succumbs to cancer. Fin discovers that his older half-sister, Lady, is now his guardian and she tells him that they are going to live in New York City... in her home in Greenwich Village. Although Fin is sad and feels alone in t...more
Barbara
It is such a delight to be reading Cathleen Schine again. I love character driven books, and this book had truly wonderful characters. After his mother's death, an eleven year old boy, Fin, is put under the guardianship of his half sister, Lady, whom he has only met once. She is a free spirit, kind of a Holly? Golightly(BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S) type but extremely wealthy. Men fall in love with her. Fin is jealous, but they always love each other.
Like the rest of Schine's work this book shines w...more
Matt
This book started out very strong and then moved into a predominantly character-driven study that just didn't do anything (both in plot and for me). Lady was extremely unlikeable and Fin wasn't a strong enough character to bear the weight of narrative that was placed on him. Two stars because at times, the writing was extremely well crafted.
My Book Addiction and More MBA
FIN & LADY by Cathleen Schine is an interesting Coming of Age/Family. This review is for the audio CD version. It is the tale of Fin's Coming of Age during the 1960's in Greenwich Village, New York,Italy,and Capri. Orphaned at eight years old, it takes you as he matures. An emotional story of Fin,his half-sister and guardian Lady Hadley,their maid,Mabel and many more characters. You will laugh,you will cry and you will say "what the heck". It is a story of a family,the love of a brother and...more
Kathleen
The central character of this novel, Lady – seeking freedom, fiercely independent, somewhat unpredictable – could have been placed in any time period to see how she fared. Instead, Cathleen Schine placed her in the turbulent 1960’s. At the age of 24, she has become a guardian to her half-brother, age 11, whom she barely knows, upon the death of Fin’s mother. “Fin’s funeral suit was a year old, worn three times, already too small,” one of the opening sentences of the novel, reflects only some of...more
Jane Pearlmutter
I was born two weeks before the fictional Fin, and grew up in Manhattan, where Fin's coming-of-age story takes place. No, I wasn't an orphan (and I went to public school, not his progressive private school, though I recognize it), but all the details of time and place as I experienced it as a young teen are spot on (along with the growing political consciousness of the 1960s.) What freedom we had to explore the city!

I can't claim to have read this book critically; I was too busy nodding in reco...more
Susan
Fin has endured three funerals already in his young life. Now his mother is dead, too, and his only relative--and his guardian--is his half sister Lady, his father's beautiful, reckless daughter. Fin moves from his grandparents' quiet Connecticut farm to a brownstone in Greenwich Village, and a "job" picking out the right husband for Lady. As Fin grows up through the tumult of the 1960's, his narration is interrupted occasionally by "I"--as in "Fin told me..." but the identity of this person bec...more
Kim
This book is the story of Connecticut farm boy, Fin, being raised by his free spirited half-sister, Lady, in New York City in the '60s. Lady is effervescent and captivates all who meet her, including Fin. Together they go on adventures around the city and to Italy. There is a trio of suitors and a charming maid who round out the story. Beneath the story of Lady's carefree adventures are the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, and some skeletons in Lady's past. Thus, the book is not always cheerful,...more
Katie
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. In some ways it was reminiscent of Auntie Mame. I do not mean the author was imitating another book but that Lady, Ms. Schine's character, had some of the same traits.

Most of the story is told from Fin's perspective when he is a young boy and I think the author captured a child's viewpoint very well. It seemed to ring true when he explained his thoughts.

The characters are vibrant and entertaining although not always wise or selfless.

If you like stories about peop...more
Nick
I loved, loved, loved Schine's previous Three Weissmans of Westport, but I've come to the conclusion that that novel might have been an anomalous blip in the oeuvre that is Cathleen Schine. Because I haven't liked two of her previous novels and I didn't like this one either.

The premise and characters are not the problem. On their own I really loved orphaned Fin and his irrepressible older sister/guardian Lady Hadley. Mabel and Phoebe, though lesser characters, are also interesting in their own...more
Susan
I would have enjoyed this book more had it been called Fin. I did not love the character of Lady as I was meant to. She wasn't developed at all - we're told how magical and special she was, but we're never shown that.
The ending is telegraphed almost from the title page.
But I did love Fin. Only finished the book because I enjoyed spending time with him.
Jayme VA
We start off with Fin and his parents going off in search of his older half sister, Lady, on the island of Capri. She's left her fiance at the alter and fled the the country and her stuffed shirt of a father is set on bringing her home. They do find her and bring her back to NY, but Fin does not see his sister again until his mother's funeral. At this point, his father and grandparents have also died- so much death for an 11 year old! Lady is Fin's legal guardian and she wisps him away from ever...more
Jodie
This book is wonderful -- my only complaint (and, yes, I know it's petty) regards the title. CS likes to use names in her titles, but I think this one doesn't do her book justice. As soon as you get into the book you realize that Fin and Lady are both characters, but going into it cold, the title sounds juvenile. If I were Sarah Crichton (but that would just be weird, right Jen?) I would have argued vigorously against using their names for the title. But that's just me. Get past the dumb title a...more
Peggy
I took one last sweep of the New shelf to see if there was a book I'd want for the airplane AND be willing to mail back to Martha's Vineyard. There was Fin and Lady; a book that even now is still 47 holds away from me in Seattle. The book was a lovely cross-country companion. Just charming enough to engage me during the flight hours. Reading the first half was thoroughly enjoyable. The second half was taken up after unpacking and it's one of those instances when I can't tell if my reading had ch...more
Andrea Larson
I thought this was a charming, touching book. 11-year-old Fin (he's named for the ending of a movie) is orphaned when his mother dies, and he's whisked from his bucolic Connecticut home to New York City with his mercurial half-sister, Lady. It's the sixties, and while Lady loves Fin, she's more concerned with parties, freedom and rotating suitors than she is with raising Fin. Yet Fin is devoted to Lady and loves her with a ferocity that she really doesn't deserve.

Schine's writing is lovely, wit...more
Jen
I cried at the end, partially because I felt all the feels but more so because this beautiful coming-of-age story was over and I wasn't quite ready to leave.

The year is 1964 and eleven year old Fin has just lost his widowed mother to cancer. Enter Lady, his eccentric older sister, now legal guardian, whom he has fond memories from a trip to Italy when he was five. Lady whisks Fin away from his small-town life on a dairy farm in rural Connecticut to her glamorous digs in New York City's Greenwich...more
John
First part of the book, setting up Fin and Lady's pasts moved a bit slowly, though provided necessary details. Middle section set in Greenwich Village proved the most interesting; unlike other readers, I didn't have a problem with events being referenced, rather than directly experienced by the characters. Being peripherally experienced with that era, I found the author painted an accurate portrait of their lives at that time. I grew to hate the last part, set in Italy. Without going into spoile...more
Helene
I loved the characters in this book! Lady was amazing and so was her half brother, Fin. Both orphans, they developed such a wonderful friendship and sense of family. The author, Cathleen Schine, does an awesome job of telling their life stories. Her description of events takes you on a great journey. The author describes one of Lady's suitors: "And so, a few days later, enchanted by her eccentricity, her pale skin and wide dazzling smile, by the sense that she would do anything and probably alre...more
Salisbury
Maybe its because I was on vacation and visiting my daughter and meeting my new grandson, but I love this book about the importance of family. Fin is orphaned and goes to live with a half- sister he barely knows--a woman unbridled by convention. Lady loves and lives without caution. Well, she loves Fin anyway. She has three suitors who vie for her attention and there are times that she lives so recklessly, that Fin feels he is parenting her. Nonetheless, the love between the siblings is geuine a...more
Mark
This points up the inherent weakness of buying an e-book, without seeing the printed version first. Had I perused this in the bookstore, I probably would have passed. But, the description sounded promising, and so I bought it. Few characters in literature are as eccentric as Lady Hadley, who by dint of her tenuous relationship to Fin, and due to the death of his mother, and earlier, their common father, Lady becomes his guardian. As a character study, it was interesting, but the story failed to...more
Amy Warrick

I guess Auntie Mame was due for an update - this is the same premise, the orphan youngster taken in by a glamorous offbeat relative - in this case, Fin is the orphan and Lady is the half-sister who takes him in and whisks him from the farm off to New York. Lady is a free spirit (echoes of Holly Golightly) and Fin is a very down-to-earth boy - it makes for an entertaining story, but it just seemed so DONE and lightweight.

Yes, I liked it, but I also felt a bit hoodwinked, as if I had paid too mu...more
Cheryl
Disclaimer: I received this as a free First Reads giveaway.

I feel a little badly giving this only 3 stars because it was written well and there were some really beautiful and tragic passages within it. It took me a while to get into the story, but by the last 3 CD's, I was starting to like the characters enough to be thinking of them when I wasn't listening. I expected a different, more exciting story but this was definitely more a story about the connections between people than how they fit (or...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Book Keeping: Fin & Lady by Cathleen Schine 1 4 Jan 30, 2014 10:41AM  
  • Return to Oakpine
  • The Violet Hour
  • The Last Summer of the Camperdowns
  • The Affairs of Others
  • Amy Falls Down
  • Love & Treasure
  • Casebook
  • Visitation Street
  • Visible City
  • Enon
  • The Unknowns
  • Autobiography of Us
  • Jacob's Folly
  • Ten Things I've Learnt About Love
  • The Why of Things: A Novel
  • The Two Hotel Francforts
  • Flora
  • Lookaway, Lookaway
127216
Cathleen Schine is the author of The New Yorkers, The Love Letter, and The Three Weissmanns of Westport among other novels. She has contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, and The New York Times Book Review.
More about Cathleen Schine...
The Three Weissmanns of Westport The New Yorkers The Love Letter The Evolution of Jane She Is Me

Share This Book

“No, it's like you get an idea in your head ... no, it's more like you get and idea in your heart.” 3 likes
“Biffi said it was more American on an air force base in Crete than it was in Times Square.” 2 likes
More quotes…