Fin & Lady

Photo: Devon Jarvis/Studio D

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Fin & Lady
288 pages; Sarah Crichton
Cathleen Schine's new novel, Fin & Lady (Sarah Crichton), begins with an arresting image of loss: 11-year-old newly orphaned Fin (named after the last word on the screen in a French movie) in his too-small suit, at his mother's funeral. Confronted with the irreverent, glamorous, intimidating figure of his 24-year-old half-sister, Lady, now his guardian and sole anchor in the world, Fin is transplanted from his bucolic existence on a Connecticut dairy farm to the "urgent, restless urbanity...color and noise and movement" of 1960s New York City. Lady wants out of the "gilded cage" of Upper East Side privilege and takes herself and Fin downtown to a brownstone in Greenwich Village, where brother and sister embark on a "quest for a big life" full of books and music, adventure and travel (the "enchanted isle" of Capri makes several shimmering appearances). 
— Priscilla Gilman