The Latecomer

The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz is a rich family drama that simmers with tension. In the 1970s, Johanna and Salo Oppenheimer married each other in the wake of tragedy. Salo was in a car accident that killed his then-girlfriend, Mandy, and bonded in grief with Johanna, Mandy’s close friend. But, once they marry, Salo and Johanna realize they have little in common. Their marital strife saturates the lives of their children, all conceived through IVF: three triplets, Harrison, Lewyn, and Sally, who grow up disliking each other, and then “the latecomer”, Phoebe, born in 2000 when the triplets are off to college. Korelitz builds enticing narrative twists from the family’s fraught relationships.