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Hi guys, good morning from a rather rain-streaked England.
I hope you’re all well.
Today, I’m reviewing The Latecomers, a contemporary novel by author Rich Marcello.
A retired, creative couple, Charlie and Maggie Latecomer, are seeking more from life.
When Charlie finds himself restless, he takes a journey away to an island he frequented in his youth, to try and work through his bubbling unease. However, his visit back to the island is about to transform his and Maggie’s lives forever.
Secret caves, a mysterious plant, and ancient lithographs depicting a strange group of people will lead the couple and their close friends on a journey of love, loss, forgiveness, and hope.
Charlie Latecomer, like his wife, is a spiritual and creative individual with a brilliant mind. I found him curious and conflicting, at times cheering on with his character’s decisions and at others confused, hoping he’d simply lost his way temporarily.
Gripped by a restlessness relating to his late mother’s death, I found myself sharing in his deep-seated pain, praying he would pull through and return to his wife after his impromptu vacation to the island.
Maggie Latecomer, wife and best friend to Charlie, was equally creative but also deeply emotional
in a relatable way. Following her part of the journey was difficult at times as she despaired over her husband’s suddenly distracted nature, having to spend lengthy amounts of time away from him. Maggie’s pain, sorrow, and anger throughout the novel were palpable and stayed with me long after a particularly emotional scene had finished.
Klara, the core antagonist of the piece, was a wealthy business CEO: influential, secretive, charming- everything that makes an enemy hard to spot at first. I admired Klara’s persistence and cunning at times, as they brought her to the top of her field, but (as rightly so with a villain) I definitely couldn’t warm to her character. She felt ice cool, like a glacier metamorphosized into a human being. Her no nonsense, logical attitude was in part relatable but taken to extremes, a tad frightening.
It was easy to fall in love with this story. The writing style was very calming and led to deep thought, with a point of view that shifted quite nicely between Charlie and Maggie.
I loved how raw and powerful the emotions of the characters were made to feel, as though they were actually my own.
All in all, there was nothing I disliked about it.
I think I must have jotted down over ten different quotes as I read through this story, however I’ve thankfully managed to narrow my favourites down to three.
- ‘Real growth happens in solitude.’
- ‘Sometimes we humans are drawn to most of those scarred in the same way, as if we implicitly know we have the skills to help them, and they the skills to help us.’
- ‘All any of us want in life is to be truly seen.’
Each of these quotes felt like little bursts of wisdom, peppered throughout the story.
I hope you find them as enlightening as I did.
Overall, I could not fault this story. The Latecomers guided me on a journey that, although later
fuelled by drama, felt peaceful and reassuring throughout. Mystery, relationships, and wisdom were my anchors, keeping me grounded as I followed the journey of Charlie and Maggie.
Themes including the environment, our current corporate society, and aging feature heavily, all combining to make a poignant statement about the times we live in and how we need more love understanding , and healing in the world.
My rating: 5 stars.
Recommended for those who enjoy a good fiction story, with mysterious twists and turns.
Thank you for joining me for today’s review of The Latecomers.
If you’d like to find out more abut the book, please visit its Goodreads page, HERE.
Or, if you’d like to learn more about author Rich Marcello, please visit his website, HERE.
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I hope you all have a wonderful week.