Fin and Lady by Cathleen Schine
(borrowed from Camden County Library System)
My first experience with Cathleen Schine was her The Love Letter, which was cute and I enjoyed it, but I didn't love it nearly as much as my ex-husband did. He really enjoyed it. Then I read her retelling of Sense and Sensibility, The Three Weissmans of Westport which I absolutely loved! I'm not sure how I stumbled across Fin and Lady, but I'm very glad that I did.
The first time Fin learned about the existence of his half sister, Lady, was when her picture was in the newspaper announcing her upcoming wedding. Fin was enamored of this beautiful sister he never met. He and his parents attended the wedding. Everyone attended Lady's wedding, except for Lady. Shortly thereafter, Fin and his parents, at the request of Lady's mother, flew to Europe to search for the wayward girl.
The first time we meet Lady is when she comes to pick up 11 year old Fin, who has been orphaned. Between the first and second times Fin meets his sister, his father passed away, having not saved up very much money and so Fin and his mom moved from New York City, in with her parents at their dairy farm. The grandparents died and not long after, Fin's mom died of breast cancer. He's an 11 year old boy who has inherited a dairy farm, which is leased to one of his teachers and his new legal guardian is his sister Lady. A young woman who he's met only briefly.
Lady brings him back to New York to live with her. I can't say she takes him to raise him because, despite his very young age, he's every bit as responsible for raising her as she is for him. This is the story of siblings brought together by tragedy who grow up together in the turbulent 60s.
I really liked Fin and Lady. I loved how Fin was put in charge of helping Lady find a husband and settle down and how seriously he took his mission. I loved the relationships he developed with the wild assortment of Lady's suitors. Schine created warm and colorful characters. They've been through so much in their young lives and together they heal and grow.