The Latecomer: A Novel (Hardcover)
I’m certain that most families are, at least a bit, dysfunctional, but the dynamics of the Oppenheimer family is the King of Dysfunction! It’s interesting to read the voices of each family character, because from their personal perspectives one would wonder if they could be talking about the same family! Johanna always dreamt about having a family, and when her IVF triplets were born, she was over the moon; not so much her husband. The belief in her “perfect family” is so skewed when compared to the viewpoint of other family members. The story erupts in a whirlwind when the triplets move out, the parents become “empty nesters” and a new sibling arrives, the “latecomer.”
If you enjoy reading about family dynamics and relationships, or if you just want to feel REALLY GOOD about your own family, then this is a good read to enjoy during the warm summer days.
-VirgieJumpin' July Staff Picks
June 2022 Indie Next List
“I’ve been a big fan of Korelitz since her early works, but The Latecomer blew me away. A clever book about a family and all its messiness. Smart, funny and poignant, I was pulled in by the novel’s perfection. Bravo, more please!”
— Sue Boucher, The Cottage Book Shop, Glen Arbor, MI
*A New York Times Notable Book of 2022*
*A Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction*
*An NPR Best Book of the Year*
*A New Yorker Best Book of 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.
About the Author
Jean Hanff Korelitz is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Plot, You Should Have Known (which aired on HBO in October 2020 as The Undoing, starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, and Donald Sutherland), Admission (adapted as a film in 2013 starring Tina Fey), The Devil and Webster, The White Rose, The Sabbathday River and A Jury of Her Peers, as well as Interference Powder, a novel for children. Her company BOOKTHEWRITER hosts Pop-Up Book Groups in which small groups of readers discuss new books with their authors. She lives in New York City with her husband, Irish poet Paul Muldoon.
"Jean Hanff Korelitz is an ambidextrous writer: not only can she write a tight and absorbing literary thriller like The Plot, but with The Latecomer she draws us in again, this time with her ease, grace and wit, in a satisfying novel that spans generations, lives, and fates."
—Meg Wolitzer, The New York Times bestselling author of The Female Persuasion
“If this novel is funny, it is also cutting, a nearly forensic study of family conflict. Husband and wife are at odds; children pull away not only from their parents but from one another. Nimbly, Korelitz juggles the stories of each parent and child, weaving a tapestry of secrets, antipathies and private quests. ... It’s testament to Korelitz’s achievement that her novel leaves us wanting more.”
—New York Times Book Review
"The novel unfolds at a thriller’s pace, with Korelitz leaving no loose threads in her complex tapestry of generational wealth and woes across the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries."
—The New Yorker, "Best Books of 2022"
"By the time we’re done with these siblings, their lives have been turned inside out, and all their stored-up junk and secret treasures have been sorted, culled and curated for this immensely enjoyable sojourn with a truly memorable family."
—Ron Charles, The Washington Post, "Jean Hanff Korelitz’s ‘The Latecomer’ offers wit in triplicate"
"It’s a marvelous story full of plot twists, intricacies, and depth in events that the reader will not see coming. Perfect for fans of character-based novels such as those by Sally Rooney or Lauren Groff."
"Korelitz (The Plot) returns with an irresistible dramedy of errors about a singularly unhappy family. This is a sizzler."
—Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review
"It's a slow burn, but this complex and layered story of the Oppenheimer family is worth hanging on...."
—Good Housekeeping, "The 30 Best and Most-Anticipated Books of 2022 (So Far)"
"An ingenious family epic."
"[A] dazzling work of literary excellence from master of the written word Jean Hanff Korelitz."
—Good Morning America, "15 new reads to add to your reading list this month"
"Korelitz (The Plot) enthralls once again with this delicious family saga."
"The author of “The Plot” returns with a novel that skewers privilege and offers delights on every page."
"There’s a jigsaw-puzzle thrill to Korelitz’s tale of a wealthy New York City family. Part farce, part revenge fantasy, the book reads like a latter-day Edith Wharton novel, as Korelitz (“The Plot”) simultaneously mocks and embraces these upper-class combatants."
—The Washington Post, "50 notable works of fiction"