A warm, funny and acutely perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.
Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs' joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.
Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the futures they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.
This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
If you enjoy books like This Is Where I Leave You and Spool of Blue Thread, which give you a courtside seat to another family’s dysfunction and provide great entertainment, The Nest is a great find. When Leo Plumb—the eldest of four adult children who were born to driven, detached parents in the tony suburbs of Long Island—spectacularly misbehaves, he jeopardizes his siblings’ nest egg and sends their lives into a tailspin. Debut novelist Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney is a natural-born storyteller who lovingly crafts a large, lifelike cast of characters and moves the action along with cinematic flair. Her eagle-eyed humor reveals the soft, yearning hearts behind the misbehaving Plumbs’ aloof demeanors.
Sweeney's entertaining saga of the financial and emotional ups and downs of one privileged New York family is performed well by Barron, a stage and television actress with many guest appearances to her credit. All four of the main characters middle-aged siblings Leo, Jack, Bea, and Melody are treated with sympathy, even as their joint fixation on their jeopardized family inheritance renders them unsympathetic. Using pitch-perfect comic timing, Barron thrives with Sweeney's droll observations, bringing the novel's wit to life. She also excels at a particular kind of "mean-girl" voice that is employed for several minor characters, from Melody's status-obsessed cohorts in the suburbs to Bea's fellow "Glitterary Girls" (former up-and-coming writers like Bea). Barron is less successful anytime a character requires a foreign accent, which is especially noticeable in the on-again/off-again British cadence she gives Leo's former business partner. Overall, however, this is an enjoyable audiobook performance. An Ecco hardcover.
Very nice family interest story. Any family member can relate to the characters and their traits.
The story had a good start, a seemingly engaging storyline and development of characters. The story gel flat about half way through, with no real pinnacle.
I am waiting for this book to become a movie. I'm thinking about the actors who can play each part. The book is so well written and characters very well explained and developed. I read constantly and so many books become a burden to finish. This book was wonderful!!! I loved and hated each one of them. That's the beauty of it. They are all so real and believable.