Fin & Lady

A Novel

Cathleen Schine

Sarah Crichton Books

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 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.
     So begins Fin & Lady, the lively, spirited new novel by Cathleen Schine, the author of the bestselling The Three Weissmanns of Westport. 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.
     From a writer The New York Times has praised as “sparkling, crisp, clever, deft, hilarious, and deeply affecting,” Fin & Lady is a comic, romantic love story: the story of a brother and sister who must form their own unconventional family in increasingly unconventional times.


Read an Excerpt

“Let’s go home”

Fin’s funeral suit was a year old, worn three times, already too small.
He knew his mother was sick. He knew she went to the hospital to get treatments. He saw the dark blue lines and dots on her chest.
“My tattoos,” she said.
She sang “Popeye the Sailor Man” and raised her skinny arms as if to flex her Popeye muscles, to make him laugh.
He knew she was sick. He knew people died. But he never thought she would die. Not his mother. Not really.
Lady came to the funeral, an unmistakably foreign presence


Praise for Fin & Lady

Praise for The Three Weissmanns of Westport

“Full of invention, wit, and wisdom that can bear comparison to Austen’s own.” —The New York Review of Books

“A clever, frothy novel . . . Schine playfully probes the lies, self-deceptions, and honorable hearts of her characters.” —The New Yorker

In the Press

REVIEW: ""Fin & Lady," by Cathleen Schine | Star Tribune
This is a story of enchantment (and that's long before we get to the dream-infested isle of Capri), and like many tales of enchantment, it begins with an orphan
- The Star Tribune
Book World: In 'Fin & Lady,' an 11-year-old comes of age in the turbulent '60s - Washington Post
Wonderfully funny though they often are, Cathleen Schine's novels are steeped in sadness, their humor grounded in unlikely premises ranging from paralysis in her first book ("Alice in Bed") to
- The Washington Post
'Fin & Lady,' by Cathleen Schine - San Francisco Chronicle
quot;Fin & Lady" is an enchanting novel about enchanting things - the romance of youth, the intoxicating possibilities of freedom - though this feeling of magic arises from tragic roots. [...] his bullying father died; then, in a cruel stroke of fate, his beloved mother did, too. Lady is like a character out of classical romance, a magical figure - Fin compares her at different points to a mermaid and a "jittery," "majestic" racehorse - whose charm and smarts make you forgive,
- San Francisco Chronicle
'Fin & Lady,' by Cathleen Schine - NYTimes.com
In Cathleen Schine's novel, a free-spirited young woman in the 1960s raises her younger half brother on Charles Street.
- The New York Times
Cathleen Schine's Favorite New York Books - The Daily Beast
Cathleen Schine, whose new novel is about life in Greenwich Village in the '60s, chooses the books that epitomize the Big Apple.
- The Daily Beast
Outtakes from a novel
Cathleen Schine told Book Keeping that she cut the following passage for rhythm and momentum, but wishes she could have kept it. We're happy…
- Medium

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Cathleen Schine

  • Cathleen Schine is the author of The Three Weissmanns of Westport, The New Yorkers, and The Love Letter, 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.

  • Cathleen Schine James Hamilton
    Cathleen Schine




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Fin & Lady

A Novel

Cathleen Schine