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Fin & Lady

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  5,926 ratings  ·  977 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 277 pages
Published July 9th 2013 by Sarah Crichton Books
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Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,926 ratings  ·  977 reviews

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Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I listened to the audio version of this book, Fin & Ladyand it was written by Cathleen Schine and narrated by Anne Twomey.This wonderful story begins in 1964. Fin Hadley is an 11-year old- boy who has 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 ...more
Feb 04, 2015 rated it liked it

In the early 1960s, beautiful twenty-four-year-old Lady Hadley swoops in to take over the care of her half-brother Fin Hadley when he's orphaned at eleven. Lady is a free spirit - able to travel, maintain a luxurious home, and indulge in favorite political causes - due to a generous trust fund.

Lady and Fin soon move to Greenwich Village where Fin is enrolled in an 'alternative' school that favors lots of freedom and little homework.

In the village, Fin is exposed to Lady's rather eccentric lifes
Jessica Jeffers
May 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
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
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: given-up-on
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
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
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
Apr 30, 2014 marked it as not-going-to-finish
Didn't finish at pg 163
Coming of age...the 60s...a unique brother/sister story...I expected more. I wanted more. I read a good 100 pages longer than I wanted to, on the off chance it would get better. Unfortunately it gets worse. Fin, the only redeeming character, turns into an obnoxious adolescent and I'm finished. Too much language. The writing is jumbled, with a confusing narrator, and unlikable characters. Every one of them. Not even the occasional funny line makes it worth it.
Not worth the
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Katz Nancy from NJ
This is the second time I read this book and I think I enjoyed it even more than the first time. What can one say about an 11 year old orphan who goes to live with his 24 year old half sister who is half Holly Golightly and Auntie Mame. A wonderful coming of age story which by the end is filled with irony and unconditional love. Do not miss this funny and poignant book which will stay with you for a long time.
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
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.
Apr 13, 2015 rated it did not like it
I did not actually finish this book, I did not see a reason why. I was so excited about this book but it's completely different than what I thought it was... I had 100 pages left to finish this book and I feel like nothing had happened so, what was the point!

At least the cover is pretty.
Aug 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Cook Memorial Public Library
A 2013 staff fiction favorite recommended by Andrea. Read her review:

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--Recommended by staffer Andrea. Read her review:

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Apr 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Although the story has a very promising premise, I had difficulty finishing this book. Rather than being delightfully eccentric or Bohemian, Lady is just sort of neurotic, self-absorbed and obnoxious.
Carol Hislop
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
A very annoying story about nothing. Everything could have been covered as a short story but it was stretched out way too far. I gave it one extra star for setting part of the plot (that's being kind) in Capri and for a nice Auden quote-apart from that, I can't recommend it. ...more
Oct 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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 sist ...more
Oct 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, adult, 2013
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
Andrea Larson
Aug 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Lin Salisbury
Aug 12, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jane Pearlmutter
Aug 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-of-2013
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
Fin & Lady by Cathleen Schine is a quirky coming-of-age novel. Fin is a young boy who, after losing his mother and father, is raised by Lady who is Fin's older half-sister. While Lady is quite a character and has many positive attributes, it soon becomes a question of who is raising whom.

I really liked this little novel about love and creating your own family however untraditional it may be. And, I loved the references and allusions to The Odyssey.

Go Cards! L1C4!!!

Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
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
Barbara Bryant
Jul 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I picked up "Fin and Lady" a year ago as an antidote to "Beautiful Ruins," a wildly popular novel that I thoroughly disliked. Similar premise: beautiful, confused people in the 1960s, an escape to Italy.. but the similarities end there. Both Fin and Lady are complex people whom I came to care about, and their experiences are relevant to the time setting. This novel didn't fit into any of my 2015 popsugar-dot-com reading categories, so a year later I was amused and moved to find out what happened ...more
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Book Keeping: Fin & Lady by Cathleen Schine 1 9 Jan 30, 2014 10:41AM  

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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.

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