They May Not Mean to, but They Do: A Novel
Bergman clan has always stuck together, growing as it incorporated in-laws, ex-in-laws, and same-sex spouses. But families don't just grow, they grow old, and the clan's matriarch, Joy, is not slipping into old age with the quiet grace her children, Molly and Daniel, would have wished. When Joy's beloved husband dies, Molly and Daniel have no shortage of solutions for their mother's loneliness and despair, but there is one challenge they did not count on: the reappearance of an ardent suitor from Joy's college days. And they didn't count on Joy herself, a mother suddenly as willful and rebellious as her own kids. The New York Times - bestselling author Cathleen Schine has been called "full of invention, wit, and wisdom that can bear comparison to [Jane] Austen's own" (The New York Review of Books), and here she is at her best. They May Not Mean To, But They Do is an intensely human, profound, and honest examination of three generations, all coming of age together.
From one of America's greatest comic novelists, a hilarious new novel about aging, family, loneliness, and love, and "[a] wise and witty...return to form" (NPR).
-They May Not Mean To, But They Do is a very funny novel. . . . This is a situation plenty of readers will recognize. . . . Schine reminds us that a family is as united by its trials as by its triumphs. . . . Schine writes with economy and style. . . . Deftly handled storytelling.- --Penelope Lively, The New York Times Book Review -Cathleen Schine [is] one of our most realistically imaginative, dependably readable novelists. . . [H]er ten books comprise a sly, illuminating corpus that seems more related to the English comic novel than to most contemporary American fiction. [S]hapely and precisely structured. . . ruefully satiric. . . buoyant. . . sharply observant. . . Her tenth and newest novel . . . cuts deeper, feels fuller and more ambitious, and seems to me her best.- --Phillip Lopate, The New York Review of Books -This is one of those novels that somehow manages to be funny and heartbreaking at the same time; Schine has a gift for transforming the pathos and comedy of everyday life into luminous fiction.- --Entertainment Weekly-Wise and witty. . . a return to form.- --NPR-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. . . . Warm, lively and generous, it's one of the must-reads of the summer.- --Connie Ogle, The Miami Herald -Schine examines what happens when your other half dies with adroit observations about family, loss, and aging . . . Joy's doggedness when it comes to taking care of herself is recognizable and understandable, showcasing Schine's intuitive empathy, and any adult with an aged parent will recognize her children's well-meaning concern.- --Publishers Weekly -Cathleen Schine has written a beautiful book that should be on every nightstand this summer.- --Autumn Markus, New York Journal of Books-Schine once again captures the love laced with guilt and sardonic humor that keeps generations of New York families together, whether they like it or not.---Booklist -Schine's latest novel combines the dark, pithy humor of a Lorrie Moore short story with quieter insights into aging, death, and the love, loneliness, and incomprehension that gets passed back and forth between generations.- --Tablet -The fictional equivalent of Roz Chast's brilliant memoir of dutiful daughterhood, Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? ... Schine writes about the fierce love that binds generations. . . This novel has an extra layer of depth and dignity, making for a profound but very readable novel that is among her very best.- --BookPage-With its unexpected moments of profundity and laugh-aloud humor, Cathleen Schine's novel movingly demonstrates how parents and children may not mean to but they do, ultimately, strain yet sustain one another.- --Lilith Magazine
CATHLEEN SCHINE is the author of Fin & Lady, The Three Weissmanns of Westport, The New Yorkers, and The Love Letter, among other novels. She has contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, and The New York Times Book Review. She lives in Los Angeles.