Tuesday, November 06, 2018
Ross, Helen Klein. The Latecomers. New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2018.
Bridey and Thom leave Ireland for America, planning to wed once they arrive. Thom dies aboard ship, and Bridey arrives in America pregnant. She considers returning to her family in Ireland, but remains. A young woman who helps Bridey helps her place the child with a Catholic charity and provides Bridey with a job. When the woman's own child dies in birth, she adopts from the charity with Bridey still working for the family. The bond between Bridey and Vincent is strong. Bridey returns to Ireland when the family's patriarch dies. The story follows several more generations in a somewhat chaotic matter. The flow between the older generation and the newer ones does not work well for the reader. Genetic genealogists will love the epilogue. The author provides historical notes and a good bibliography, features unusual for a novel. I really enjoyed Bridey and Thom's story, the story of Bridey's first days in America, and giving up the child for adoption. I even enjoyed some of Bridey's story after that point. Unfortunately, the more the story began to focus on the Hollingworth family, the less interested I became in the story being read. The character development that took place in the early generations did not extend to the later ones. Those generations felt rushed. What started as a good read became just a mediocre one for me. I received an electronic copy from the publishers through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.