A New Acclaimed Work of Contemporary Women's Fiction from the author of Watch Me Disappear
What is it about guys with guitars in their hands that makes them so irresistible, even when they are obviously self-centered jerks? If Abby and Maggie could answer that question, maybe they could finally get over Nathaniel.
Abby was first sucked in by Nathaniel's rock 'n roll swagger four years ago when a drunken fling turned into a series of drunken hook-ups that became something like a relationship. Now, as New Year's Eve promises a fresh start, she wants to believe he's finally going to grow up and take their relationship seriously.
What does Nathaniel hope the New Year will bring? An escape from the disappointing realities of his life. He's thirty-four years old and he's barely making ends meet as an adjunct philosophy professor, which was always only a backup plan anyway. Nathaniel's real goal was always to make his living as a musician, but his band, The Latecomers, broke up a couple of years ago, and he hasn't picked up his guitar in months. When he decides to spend the holiday with some high school friends instead of hanging out at the bar where Abby works, he gets the happy surprise of reuniting with his long-lost friend Maggie. Newly divorced, Maggie has just moved back to her mother's house to regroup.
Nathaniel and Maggie were supposed to be the ones who left Worcester forever to conquer the world. He was going to be a rock star. She was going to take the world of art by storm. He's never gotten farther than Boston, and her best efforts only left her broke and heartbroken. As they ring in the New Year together, Nathaniel decides it's time to take control of his life and to start making his dreams come true. He thinks the first step will be easy. All he needs to do is break up with Abby and finally admit his feelings for Maggie. But the New Year has more surprises in store, and nothing is ever as simple as it seems.
I am the author of three novels. My most recent, What She Inherits, was published in January, 2017. My first novel, Watch Me Disappear (2012), was a finalist in the Kindle Book Review's Best Indie Book Awards in the Young Adult category in 2013, and my second, The Latecomers Fan Club (2013), was named a 2014 IndieReader Discovery Award winner. In 2015, I released a brief guide book to self-publishing called The Sane Person's Guide to Self-Publishing.
Diane V. Mulligan’s book The Latecomers Fan Club just wasn’t for me and believe me I really tried. I got halfway through it before I accepted this fact.
For me, the problem was the characters. I really, really hated them. Well, no, that is unfair. I didn’t hate Abby. Abby was a victim in all of this. However Nathaniel and Maggie were insipid, selfish and came across like the world owed them both a favour. They were both ‘arty’ characters and life hadn’t gone their way and somehow that was meant to endear you to them and how their will-they-won’t-they love affair was meant to override the fact that Nathaniel was treating the mother of his unborn child like crap.
Nope. I just couldn’t give this book anymore of my time or attention when there are far more likeable characters out there.
The Latecomers Fan Club by Diane V Mulligan is available now.
A nice little multi narrative story, told by two women, and one man. The plot didn't pack any punches, or hold any surprises, but it was told well, and paced nicely. What struck me most about the book though was my dislike for Nathaniel...it was a mystery how anyone wanted a relationship with him, let alone everyone!!! :)
This book gets an extra half a star for the quality of the writing, and that's really about it. I would try another book by this author as I did like the way she wrote, but I hated the subject matter. Abby's pretty much the only likeable character in the entire novel. I think this must have been a freebie I picked up off an Amazon sale, because it's certainly not something I would normally have bought for myself.
Nathaniel is utterly reprehensible and I don't see what any of the women ever saw in him. There has to have been something attractive about him, but all his actions just made him disgusting for me. I had no sympathy for him at all. He was a whiny child who didn't want to grow up and be held responsible for his own actions.
Maggie was annoying as well. Her reasons never really felt great for me. And I felt like she had no real backbone or drive on her own. She was mostly floating along and it felt like she'd been that way most of her life. I wanted her to want something, to really go for it. Even when she discovered she liked something it was always with this caveat of well maybe it'll be too hard, or it won't be perfectly the way I want it.
Abby at least dealt with the reality of the situation she found herself in and realized the changes she needed to make for herself to make herself happy. And yet it's not her HEA we get in the end. :-p
This book took me an eon to read because I could never get through more than 10 or 20 pages at a time before getting so annoyed with something I had to put it away for awhile.
I enjoyed this book despite not really liking any of the main characters. Well, except Abby, she was a decent person.
As for Maggie and Nathaniel, I found them selfish, lazy and thoughtless, always blaming the world for their lack of success and happiness and never realizing they had the power to change everything by just putting some effort into things.
Maggie has a masters degree and after her divorce, the best job she can find is at the makeup counter at Macy's. She moves in with her mom and whines and complains.
Nathaniel is a musician and an adjunct professor who can barely pay his bills. He is dating Abby, but he doesn't want to be. But he also can't bother to break up with her. He uses her for sex and then ignores her the rest of the time, all the while complaining about it. When he finds out she is pregnant, he is pretty unmoved by the news. He sees Maggie at a party after many years and makes out with her. He had a crush on her in high school but never took it past friends because he was afraid the reality wouldn't live up to the fantasy. He also blames everyone else for his lack of success.
Abby is hoping to get Nathaniel to commit to her because of her Catholic upbringing. She works at a bar and can't imagine being a single Mom. She is the youngest of the three, but the first to grow up and realize that it's not just about her anymore, but about her child.
I felt the story was well paced and interesting and I think things turned out exactly as they should have.
Abby is definitely not living her dream life. In fact, her life kind of sucks. She works at a dumpy bar and lives in a dumpy apartment. Her boyfriend of several years is basically a self-centered jerk who doesn't appreciate her and takes her for granted. The only bright spot in her life is that she shares her dumpy apartment with her best friend since childhood, Brianna. But, Brianna is engaged to be married and soon Abby will be on her own.
Maggie thought she had everything she ever wanted. She had moved away from her small hometown and travelled to California. She had dreamed of becoming an artist, but she met a rich man, married him and gave up her artistic dreams to live a different dream: the dream of a life filled with domestic bliss. Except the dream of bliss turned out not to be as great as she had hoped. Now, she is divorced and has moved home to live with her mother, and her mother's boyfriend while she figures out what to do with the rest if her life.
Nathaniel too had big dreams. He was going to make it big as a musician with his band called THE LATECOMERS. But real life has a habit of getting in the way of dreams. Now in his thirties he is stuck teaching philosophy to bored community college students. He isn't even a tenured professor. In fact, he teaches classes at three different colleges just to make ends meet and his band is no longer together.
Nathaniel and Abby have been a couple for many years. Initially they met at the bar where Abby works and where The Latecomers played once a week at Open Mike Night.
But, Nathaniel and Abby have vastly different outlooks on their relationship.
When a crisis arises and a person from the past re-enters their lives, Abby, Nathaniel and Maggie must all decide exactly what they want to do with the rest of their lives. In other words: they all have to finally grow up.
The character development throughout this audiobook is phenomenal. Listeners will find themselves caring about the main characters and becoming invested in their lives. The test of a great work of fiction (in my opinion) is when the reader (or in this case, the listener) is completely absorbed by the story. There are times when I wished I could yell at both Abby and Maggie and times I wished I could literally slap some sense into Nathaniel.
Another thing I liked about THE LATECOMER'S FAN CLUB was it's believability. Most people will be able to relate to the characters and to the situations they find themselves in throughout the book. It seems that more and more adult children are moving back in with their parents after having moved out years before. I have many coworkers whose children are once again living at home in their late twenties or early thirties.
Beckett Royce is a wonderful narrator. She has the sort of voice that regular people can relate to. She uses inflection and tone expertly to convey the emotions and ideas being portrayed in the story. It is evident that she read the book (probably more than once) before she began the process of narration. This is one of the reasons that the audiobook flows so well.
I rate this audiobook as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
* I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
The Latecomers Fan Club is an intriguing contemporary women's fiction story that revolves around the complexities of life, love and relationships.
Set in Boston and the suburbs of Somerville and Worcester, the story is told in the alternating third person narrative with flashbacks to the past involving three complex individuals and their complicated love triangle. The reader is introduced to Abby, Nathaniel, and Maggie, who are all struggling in their individual lives and romantic relationships. Abby is a twenty-seven year old bartender, who met Nathaniel, a thirty-four year old adjunct college philosophy professor and struggling musician, four years ago when his former band the Latecomers played at The Watering Hole. Their one night stand turned into a complicated and toxic relationship that seems to be going nowhere. Maggie is a thirty-three year old struggling artist who came back home to Worcester after her divorce. Maggie and Nathaniel were childhood best friends, and even though Maggie had deeper feelings for Nathaniel in the past, he didn't act upon her feelings because he felt that she wasn't "the perfect one." While Maggie worked on New Year's Eve, Nathaniel and Maggie were reunited at a former school friend's party. Nathaniel becomes involved with both Abby and Maggie, and what ensues is a tangled web of emotions, drama, and unexpected trials and tribulations as the complicated love triangle becomes interwoven with their individual struggles and unfulfilled life expectations.
Author Diane V Mulligan weaves an interesting tale that easily draws the reader into the complicated lives of Abby, Nathaniel, and Maggie. The trio's alternating perspectives flow seamlessly as their individual struggles in life intertwines with their complicated love triangle. The author does a really good job of portraying the characters and the complexities of their lives in a realistic way that makes it easy for the reader to relate to. The reader steps into Abby, Nathaniel, and Maggie's lives and is able to see their strengths and weaknesses as they struggle to find the path to love and happiness. I really enjoyed the differences in each of the characters: Abby is young and naive, has never had dreams or goals, and is desperate to hold onto a toxic relationship; while Maggie and Nathaniel are both in their mid-thirties and are disenchanted with the way their unfulfilled lives have turned out, they are struggling to achieve their dreams. I was fascinated with how their lives and relationships unfolded in an entertaining and moving style as each comes to the realization that life doesn't always turn out the way they expected.
The Latecomers Fan Club is a refreshing true-to-life story about the complexities of life experiences and romantic relationships, it is a fast-paced and thoroughly enjoyable read.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.
Abby is a bartender. She met Nathaniel at the bar where she works four years ago when he and his band were playing. What started out as a one night stand is still going on. Abby is in love with Nathaniel and is there to support him when he gets down and starts drinking. He's haunted by not fulfilling his dreams of being a musician in his band, The Latecomers, and having to be a professor at a couple colleges to be able to pay his bills. For Nathaniel, Abby is convenient and he does appreciate her when she is there for him. But he knows she wants more and he can't give it to her but he's can't be bothered to cut her loose.
Maggie was Nathaniel's childhood best friend. They both felt it was something more as they grew into their teens but Nathaniel never let it go too far. Maggie went away to university and met and married someone else. That marriage recently ended in divorce and she has moved back home to live with her mother until she figures out what to do with her life. Her dreams of being an artist never materialized and the only job she can find is working in the Misses section of the department store.
Things start to change for all three of them on New Years Eve. Abby has to work that night. Rather than hang out with her, Nathaniel goes to a friend's party, where he runs into Maggie. They start talking and tentatively start their friendship again.
This is the first book I've read by this author. I liked the writing style. I thought it flowed well and the pace was fine. As a head's up, the language and some activity is for a mature reader.
I liked the minor characters like Breanna (Abby's roommate), the various parents, etc. I can't say I liked the main characters much, though. Abby is young (in her twenties) and ever hopeful ... and a doormat for Nathaniel. Breanna is always telling her that she can do better but she keeps hanging on to Nathaniel, even though he treats her badly. By the end of the book, I liked that she had become strong.
Nathaniel and Maggie are in their mid-thirties. Life hasn't turned out how they'd hoped for either one of them but instead of doing something about it, they choose to whine and complain. I thought it was awful the way Nathaniel treated Abby but it was partly her own fault since she continued to take it.
Maggie married a rich guy for all the wrong reasons. When that marriage broke up, she had nowhere else to go so moved back in with her mother outside Boston. Why she didn't get a settlement when she divorced her husband ... they lived in California so wasn't half of everything hers? She's well-educated but has never done anything but be a rich guy's wife because it was easy.
This was an interesting story about how life doesn't always turn out how you thought it would and how different people deal with it.
I like storylines with old friends meeting up. I’m particularly interested in how their old lives hold up when they intersect with their new lives. What are they thinking? Are they happy and living up to their dreams or are they disappointed with how things turned out? This is why I was drawn to The Latecomers Fan Club.
The story centers around three characters, Abby, Nathaniel and Maggie. Abby and Nathaniel are currently an item; Nathaniel and Maggie were best friends in high school. Abby laments the state of her relationship with Nathaniel. He doesn’t behave as the ideal boyfriend – not that she has some sort of checklist going – but she does recognize that their relationship is lacking something. Abby is all in but Nathaniel, not so much. She’s holding out hope that he’ll shake off whatever it is that’s keeping him from fully committing to her.
Nathaniel is discontent with his life. He had such high hopes of escaping town and becoming something special but his reality is far off course. His band, The Latecomers is also a source of disappointment. He’s disinterested in his relationship and completely dishonest with Abby. The only thing lifting his spirits is Maggie’s reappearance into his life.
Maggie has returned to town after the collapse of her marriage. She’s embarrassed and stressed about living with her parents again. Running into Nathaniel is a highlight but is he what she needs right now as she straightens up her head?
I know I’m being hard on the characters when I say that all of them are sad. I did develop an attachment to Abby while Nathaniel is the least likable of the group. There are just so many lies and distorted views that grated on me. The tough part is that what they’re all going through is real and it’s hard for them to snap out of their pity party. At least Abby managed to get some life in her by the end (thanks to her best friend). Truth is for all of their imperfections, I did care about what they were going through. And while I may not agree with some of their decisions, they seem to be headed in the right direction towards the end.
The Latecomers Fan Club is about adults who don’t realize their dreams and struggle to accept that in order to adapt. Growing up can suck sometimes, especially when you’ve lost your drive. Moving on requires courage and perhaps a special person to help you see things differently. And if second chances at happiness come along, snap them up quick!
Within the first two pages, I knew I was going to enjoy reading The Latecomers Fan Club. Mulligan writes with such a clean, easy style that slipping into the lives of Abby, Nathaniel and Maggie is effortless from the off.
The actual storyline is a complex web of emotions, stemming from unfulfilled lives and stagnant potential. As the three main characters’ lives intertwine, they initially begin to bring each other down; Maggie is a divorcee lost soul, searching for her own path after moving in, marrying and becoming dependent on Andrew in quick succession. She reflects single, childless women in their 30s everywhere, who feel their lives are failure. Abby, on the other hand, is desperately clawing to keep hold of her toxic relationship, even though she comes across as more level headed. She is at first naïve, knowing what she wants but unable to make it happen. Nathaniel . . . well, I didn’t like him much. He’s self-involved, self-pitying, and entirely selfish is about his sum. Damaged by his relationship with his father, Nathaniel wanders around uninterested and unfulfilled by his job, ‘girlfriend’ and life in general, too much of a coward to do what he should have done a long time ago. His only redeeming feature is his desire to be a father.
A year in the lives of this trio results in some heartfelt realisations and as Mulligan documents each feeling behind the characters’ actions with such finesse, you’re left wondering if the author felt every single emotion as she wrote. A fantastic read.
Reviewed by Charlotte Foreman on behalf of BestChickLit.com.
This book surprised me in a really good way. At first, I thought it would be just another love triangle story, with two silly girls falling for a very handsome guy. But, no. It's so not like that!
In this case, the girls are actually very brave and smart. They're all going through hard times in their lives, but somehow they find strength inside themselves to keep searching for happiness and doing the best they can. Some of their decisions weren't easy and I really admire them for that.
Nathaniel isn't one of my favorite characters, though. I can't even understand why the girls would love him. He's really rude and selfish sometimes. His father wasn't a good example of how a man should be, but that isn't an excuse for his behavior. I don't like the way he talks to the girls. But anyway... [spoiler alert] At least, he seems to be a bit better at the end. I'm glad he got another chance.
I love how they can count on their parents for support. The novel ends with a beautiful message, which encourages everyone to count your blessing and see the positive side in every situation. I really get that feeling now.
*Many thanks to Broad Universe for providing an ARC via NetGalley!*
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
"The Latecomers Fan Club" was an interesting listen. I like the way each character or the main characters had their own chapters. Abby, Maggie, AND Nathaniel. I wasn't sure how I felt about the characters. I think the girls orbited around the narcissistic guitarist who are in fact his fan club. Abby was my favorite and Nathaniel WAS a jerk. There were also great supporting characters.
I think this was a well put together book that didn't pull any punches. The characters were all introduced nicely with a natural setting. They were like people you know or have known. They were relatable. The story as a whole came off naturally which I liked.
Overall I enjoyed listening to this audiobook written by Diane V. Mulligan and hope to hear more from her in the future.
About the narrator: Beckett Royce has a wonderful voice. She worked through this audiobook fluently with great control. There were no long pauses or distractions. She had perfect voice inflections and I always knew who was speaking.
Watch for great things to come from this young author. Diane V. Mulligan’s first novel—Watch Me Disappear— was a finalist for the Kindle Book Review, Best Indie Book Awards. The Latecomers Fan Club, Mulligan’s latest novel, won the IndieReader Discover Award in the “Chick-Lit” category.
Latecomers Fan Club brings to life the unfilled ambitions and wrongs turns of a group of twentysomethings and thirtysomethings. Abbie, one of the two main female characters, is appealing in her honesty and simplicity. Nathaniel, a screw-up you want to forgive, is reminiscent of Chip Lambert in Jonathan Franzan’s The Corrections. The Latecomers Fan Club is a fast enjoyable read. Take it to the beach with you—but it’s not your average beach read.
Too many times the stories get it wrong, life I mean. But Diane Mulligan got it just right with The Latecomer's Fan club. It's your tragic love triangle where everyone is in the wrong and can't see their own blindness until their world comes crashing down, but in this story it's how they recover and re-discover life again that makes this a worthwhile read. Becket Royce does a superb job narrating this novel. Her tone is crisp and easy to listen to and her characters are realistic and captivating. I would recommend this short read to all. This audiobook was given to me in return for an honest review.
Review: This story was quite good. The way the author was able to portray each character and show their strengths and weaknesses was outstanding. The dialogue on the longer conversations seemed a bit strained but the storyline overcame this weakness. The plot was great and the characters were awesome. The different perspectives of the characters flowed easily, and seamlessly. That's hard to do and Mulligan nailed it. I've already recommended this to friends, and I'll continue to do so!
While at first, this book did not appear to be my typical genre for reading, I found that The Latecomers Fan Club has real crossover appeal. The author writes an engaging plot and really excels at drawing complex characters. This is a wonderful novel and most readers should find the challenges faced by characters to be comfortingly familiar, yet strikingly original. I highly recommend this book as a fine piece of fiction. It is well worth checking out! This is the mark of a great author if you look at a book and say "This is not my usual comfort zone," but end up really enjoying the book.
Not a story that is full of happy ever after think that's why I loved it. This was a face it book. Nathaniel is the biggest jerk on earth and lots of times it's faced. Maggie's a dead beat. Abbey is real I loved her from page one. She is awesome and her best friend is a gem. I recommend This book highly and this author. Here's real. Loved it
Mulligan is a confident, competent writer. Clean prose that cuts to the quick of this story about finding a new way out, though maybe it's never about finding a way out of your life but learning what's best about the life you choose to have. A fine read.