Fin and Lady by Cathleen Schine
|Fin and Lady by Cathleen Schine|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A slow burn start but a helluva finish - a real treat for the discerning reader.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: November 2013|
|External links: Author's website|
In 1964 eleven-year-old Fin Hadley met his half sister again. His first contact with Lady had been some years before when Lady had left her bridegroom at the altar and run away to Capri. Fin's mother and father took Fin with them as they went to Capri to bring Lady home. Fin's father had died a while ago but it was at his mother's funeral, six years later, that he and Lady met again - she was his only surviving relative and would be his guardian. Lady, Fin and Fin's dog Gus left rural Connecticut for New York. The snag about this is that Lady's well, not exactly parent material.
You'll soon have your suspicions about why Lady was on her way to the altar but her flightiness hasn't put off the suitors, even the one who was abandoned and for most of Fin's teenage years three of them spend much of their time in pursuit of Lady, sometimes separately and sometimes together. Despite Lady's avowed intention to get married 'within the year' it never quite seems to be happening. Fin has his favourite amongst the suitors - and some strong feelings about the lack of suitability of others. It's a strange life for a boy, with a school which is best described as unconventional and the most effective parenting coming from the family's black maid, but he seems to thrive on it.
I loved Fin although originally I found it difficult to relate to Lady (I never did like Holly Golightly, either), but she did grow on me as I read. The characterisation of Fin is a masterpiece as we see him mature from being an orphaned boy into an adolescent who feels as much responsibility for his guardian as she does for him and it's all done against the background of the burgeoning Vietnam war, the Civil Rights Movement - and everything that living in Greenwich in the sixties meant.
It's a novel with a slow burn start. Once Fin got to New York I could easily have put it down, but I picked it up in odd moments here and there and I realised that Fin had got under my skin. As we got closer to the end I was distinctly resentful when I had to put the book down and I particularly appreciated the very neat twists in the story. If you're looking for a book with pace and action from page one then this might not be the book for you, but if you're prepared to get to know the characters then you could be in for a treat. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If this book appeals then you might enjoy Maine by Courtney Sullivan.
You can read more book reviews or buy Fin and Lady by Cathleen Schine at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Fin and Lady by Cathleen Schine at Amazon.com.
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