Posted: Tuesday, September 3, 2013, 8:38 am
I cried at the end, partially because I felt all the feels, but mostly because this beautiful coming-of-age story was over.
The year is 1964 and 11-year-old Fin has just lost his widowed mother to cancer. Enter Lady, his eccentric, estranged older sister-- now legal guardian-- of 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 Village. Free-spirited Lady doesn't know the first thing about raising a child and grieving Fin is soon immersed in her chaotic life, where the parties just don't ever seem to end.
Schine takes a plot that could easily be reduced to who's raising whom and instead crafts a tender love story between a younger brother and his adult sister. Set against the backdrop of the tumultuous 1960s, Fin & Lady is a Bildungsroman that explores the landscape of the odd, sometimes frustrating, relationship that ensues when family members who are otherwise strangers find themselves thrust together in times of tragedy. Equally heartwarming and heartbreaking, you'll be hard-pressed to put down this wonderful, quirky, coming-of-age tale.