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The Latecomers


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Philosophical, and deftly written, The Latecomers by Rich Marcello offers a sincerely unique novel about connectedness and age.

Philosophical, and deftly written, The Latecomers by Rich Marcello offers a sincerely unique novel about connectedness and age. 

Maggie and Charlie Latecomer are an aging couple, both on their second marriages, and each struggling to understand what the last third of their lives will be. Charlie, the restless artist, the philosophizer of the couple, finds that the routine their relationship has become is no longer satisfactory. With grace, Marcello craftily writes a powerful love between Maggie and Charlie, but explores how sometimes the old school definition must be reformed.

These two protagonists, both healthy and fit, are not ready to lay down and let the ends of their lives come to them. In this aspect, where The Latecomers excels is in defining the very real emotions of the toils and troubles a sixty-something person faces in a modern society. 

More recent years have seen a change in the ageist arena. Sixty is the new forty, or something like that. Even so, there is still the dark cloud of impending doom, the idea that the older generations should step out of the way for the younger. Where does that leave someone who still holds a refined, driven taste for life? Maggie and Charlie both explore what this dilemma entails, and in so doing, form their own third act way of living. 

This way of life, this new found mash up of relationships and friendships, is compiled and compounded when a mystical book takes the Latecomers and newfound “family” on a journey of enlightenment and restoration. The almost preternatural adventure that takes place in Marcello’s fourth novel is perhaps the most riveting, though it takes a bit of time to get to the mystery at the heart of things. At times, the pace plods along, too bogged down with deep thought and trapped in the battle of character’s ideals. The characters can get in the way of the otherwise more expansive, gripping and original story. 

Poetic writing, with an intriguing plot and thought provoking story, The Latecomers is a book that shines light on the taboo subject of aging, and what love and sex means after sixty.

Reviewed by

A sometimes kind, sometimes evil hedgewitch on a crusade to create as many fantastical worlds and read as many stupendous adventures as I can. Currently living with three loyal hounds, an impartial cat, and my very own vampire husband.


About the author

Rich is the author of four novels, The Color of Home, The Big Wide Calm, and The Beauty of the Fall, The Latecomers, and the poetry collection, The Long Body That Connects Us All. Previously, he enjoyed a successful career as a technology executive, He lives in Massachusetts with his family. view profile

Published on April 21, 2020

Published by Moonshine Cove

9000 words

Genre: Literary Fiction

Reviewed by