Fin & LaFin & Ladydy
Author: Cathleen Schine
Narrator: Anne Twomey
Published 2013 by Macmillan
9 hours – Unabridged

Fin was only five years old the first time he met his half-sister Lady, and six years passed before he saw her again. This time, it was 1964, and 24-year-old Lady drove up in a sports car to whisk her recently orphaned brother away from his Connecticut farm to Greenwich Village, where she would be his guardian. So, as the story really gets under way, it’s the early 1960s, Lady is an independently wealthy, free-spirited, single young female saddled with the responsibility for raising an eleven-year-old, and they’re living at the epicenter of New York cool. Responsibility is not something Lady does very well. Not that this bothers Fin very much. He loves Lady wholeheartedly, and soon understands that she needs him just as much as he needs her. For Lady is beset by three ardent young men (Fin calls them “the suitors”), each of whom offers her something very different. In her way, she responds to each of them, but none of them captures her heart, or even very much of her attention.

We follow Fin and Lady through the 1960s, and the zeitgeist batters like a moth at the window of their house on Charles Street. It’s all pretty much peripheral, though Lady’s interest in activism against the war does lead to some trouble, and Fin’s enrollment in a Village “free school” provides some comedy. Lady is an interesting character: too bourgeois-traditional to be a hippie and too much of a romantic to throw her heart into feminism, she’s caught between generations, unable to find a completely comfortable place for herself with the old guard or the new. You picture her walking down the street with “The Girl from Ipanema” as the soundtrack … but what happens when that sound falls out of fashion? Lady’s always a little out of step.

Reader Anne Twomey does an excellent job with the narration and the character voices, plausibly playing young Fin from pre-adolescence to the brink of manhood, and giving the devil-may-care Lady a true, consistent voice. She seems comfortable with all sorts of character voices, and provides a good, strong through-line of storytelling throughout.

The narrative of Fin & Lady is essentially from Fin’s point of view, looking back from the present day – but it’s not Fin telling the story. To find out who it is, and enjoy a little atmospheric slice of Village life in the 60s, give Fin & Lady a listen.

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Disclaimer: I received a copy of this audiobook from the publisher as part of the Solid Gold Reviewer program administered by Audiobook Jukebox. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.

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