Penelope Lively on They May Not Mean To, But They Do in The New York Times Book Sunday Review:

“I think Daddy died . . . but Mommy doesn’t want him to know.” This comment by a distraught daughter at her father’s deathbed nicely sets the tone of Cathleen Schine’s latest novel, which combines black comedy with shrewd observation of family dynamics."      click here for more of this review


Philip Lopate on They May Not Mean To, But They Do in The New York Review of Books:

"Over the past thirty-three years, Cathleen Schine has been one of our most realistically imaginative, dependably readable novelists. Starting with Alice in Bed (1983), her ten books comprise a sly, illuminating corpus that seems more related to the English comic novel than to most contemporary American fiction. Her work is as shapely and precisely structured if more generously cluttered than Barbara Pym’s, one of her avowed models; as ruefully satiric though less tart than Muriel Spark’s, another acknowledged influence; as buoyant though less panoramic than Anthony Trollope’s (a favorite); as sharply observant though gentler and not as grim as Anita Brookner’s."

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Connie Ogle on They May Not Mean To, But They Do in The Miami Herald:

Cathleen Schine’s new novel is a seamless blend of humor and heartbreak, shot through with so many funny, painful truths that absorbing them all is an experience to be savored. With a bright yellow cover with Dick-and-Jane style drawings, They May Not Mean To, But They Dolooks a bit jaunty, but its humor is steeped in familiar (and unsparing) reality.

Exploring family life with comic insight has long been one of Schine’s strengths, in such novels as Fin & Lady (in which a young orphan comes to live with his older sister in 1960s Greenwich Village) and The Three Weissmans of Westport (an updated Sense and Sensibilityset in Connecticut). Now Schine returns to a subject she touched on briefly in Westport — the relationships between adult children and their aging parents and the frictions and frustrations that develop as a family grows old together.

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