Sunday, June 26, 2022

The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz


Title: The Latecomer 
Author: Jean Hanff Korelitz
Publisher: Celadon Books
Release Date: May 31st 2022

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Plot, Jean Hanff Korelitz’s The Latecomer is a layered and immersive literary novel about three siblings, desperate to escape one another, and the upending of their family by the late arrival of a fourth.

The Latecomer follows the story of the wealthy, New York City-based Oppenheimer family, from the first meeting of parents Salo and Johanna, under tragic circumstances, to their triplets born during the early days of IVF. As children, the three siblings--Harrison, Lewyn, and Sally--feel no strong familial bond and cannot wait to go their separate ways, even as their father becomes more distanced and their mother more desperate. When the triplets leave for college, Johanna, faced with being truly alone, makes the decision to have a fourth child. What role will the “latecomer” play in this fractured family?

A complex novel that builds slowly and deliberately, The Latecomer touches on the topics of grief and guilt, generational trauma, privilege and race, traditions and religion, and family dynamics. It is a profound and witty family story from an accomplished author, known for the depth of her character studies, expertly woven storylines, and plot twists.

After reading the Plot and loving it, I thought I was in for a treat with Jean Hanff Korelitz's newest novel, The Latecomer.

Sadly this book didn't do it for me and this was greatly in part to the characters. 

The blurb should say, this book is about Johanna. A mother of triplets (test tube triplets) who was treated like trash by everyone she loved.

I got so tired of listening to her kids berate her for trying to make them into a family. It got old really fast. 

The triplets were selfish, self-centered, egoistical, and really just insufferable. Please don't think her husband was any better. Salo never cared for her. He was more than ok with having a side piece and another family with her. He was never present for the family he had created first. He never showed an interest in Joanna, her children, or fidelity. He was a waste of space. 

I’m addition, this book screams a need for editing. It was long and redundant. Nothing really happened except the disgust the triplets professed in thinking of spending any time with their mother. 

I know some of my book friends love this book and you should read their reviews. After all, I'm in the minority. 

Cliffhanger: No

2/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Celadon Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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