They May Not Mean To, But They Do (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Cathleen Schine has once again written an amusing, yet poignant family tale.  This time it is the story of Joy Bergman, a proud, insightful woman in her 80's who is trying her best to cope with her husband who has Alzheimer's as well as a few other health issues.  Her son and daughter love Joy and only want the best for her; however, what they believe is best and what Joy feels is best are miles apart.  Schine portrays the process of aging with humor, empathy and concern.  Joy and her clan are caring, sensitive people who sometimes misinterpret the needs of others.  In other words, they are all quite human.

— Nancy Randall


From one of America's greatest comic novelists, a hilarious new novel about aging, family, loneliness, and love

The 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 their 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 she is at her best in this intensely human, profound, and honest novel about the intrusion of old age into the relationships of one loving but complicated family. They May Not Mean To, But They Do is a radiantly compassionate look at three generations, all coming of age together.

About the Author

CATHLEEN SCHINE is the author of The Three Weissmanns of Westport, The Love Letter, and The New Yorkers, 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.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780374280130
ISBN-10: 0374280134
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
Publication Date: June 7th, 2016
Pages: 304
Language: English