Thursday, December 17, 2015

Review: Fin & Lady by Cathleen Schine

Title: Fin & Lady
Author: Cathleen Schine
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
Publish Date: July 9, 2013
Source: Library

What's the Story?:

From "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, urgent, and obsessed with being free—is as much his responsibility as he is hers.

Fin and Lady lead their lives against the background of the ’60s, the civil rights movement, and the Vietnam War—Lady pursued by ardent, dogged suitors, Fin determined to protect his impulsive sister from them and from herself."

My Two Cents:

"Fin & Lady: A Novel" is the story of Fin, a young boy who is orphaned suddenly, and has to move from the farm that he's always known to Greenwich Village in New York City with his wild half-sister, Lady. Lady is the consummate 1960s party girl who doesn't know the first thing about taking care of a child. She gives a half-hearted try but most of the responsibility falls to Fin. This book is a coming-of-age story for Fin and the focus is really on him.

Even though Fin is only 11 years old, he quickly realizes that Lady's life is too crazy for her to really raise him well and that it's really going to be up to him to take care of both of them. To some degree, Lady almost seems like Peter Pan and the way that she doesn't think about consequences and doesn't seem to want to grow up. While I really liked Fin and felt for his plight, I really had a hard time connecting with Lady. It just seems like she was sort of at a point in her life where she should've been a little bit more responsible and she just wasn't. I wanted to know more about her motivation and never felt like that was really laid out.

This book was a little bit of a mixed bag for me. I really enjoyed the settings, particularly the parts that were set in Greenwich Village, which seemed like an extremely exciting place to be during the 1960s. I did like reading about both Fin and Lady's views on the neighborhood and how they deal with the place in very different ways.

I really enjoyed the premise of the story but I wish that I felt a little bit more for the characters, especially :ady. I don't necessarily feel like I always have to like the characters I read about but I do like understanding their motivations and with Lady it I just couldn't.


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