Family Dysfunction on Steroids

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Many thanks to Bookishfirst for the advanced reader’s copy of The Latecomer, by Jean Hanff Korelitz in return for my honest review.

The Latecomer is a completely different novel from the author’s first book, The Plot. Expectations of a similar genre will lead to disappointment.

I found The Latecomer had an interesting premise, but it takes commitment to read the nearly 500 pages. It is a complex, layered story, but somewhat repetitious, and could easily have been shortened by at least 150 pages.

The Oppenheimers. a wealthy, NYC family, represents family dysfunction on steroids. This character-driven novel is about an absent dad, a delusional mom, IVF triplets who want nothing to do with one another, and a fourth IVF child added to the mix 18 years later. With the exception of the latecomer, none of the characters are likable, which is not problematic for some, but is for this reader. The story was much better when Phoebe’s perspective takes center stage, but that is at the very end of the book. I needed more of Phoebe. 3.5 stars.