They say that you should never judge a book by its cover, but I have a confession to make: the only reason I purchased The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney was because I thought the cover was pretty. I wasn’t entirely sure what the book was about, I knew that Amy Poehler had a difficult time putting it down, but I really liked the cover and I wanted it on my shelf. The book arrived at my doorstep and I put it on my shelf and it sat there for a year, looking pretty. My friend and I decided that we should finally read it this month and now I’m wondering why I didn’t pick it up sooner.
The Goodreads description for this book says: “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 future 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, 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.”
One of the reasons why I liked this book is because it was almost like reading a soap opera and I like soap operas (I’m watching the Young and the Restless as I write this). There’s a lot of drama in this book, but unlike most soap operas, the things that happen are more realistic and you can imagine them happening. Have you ever bought a lottery ticket and taken a moment to imagine what you’d do if you won? Have you ever counted your chickens before they’re hatched? In The Nest, the Plumb siblings had a lottery ticket and they started to imagine and make decisions based on the promise of their numbers being drawn. For Melody and Jack, things have been difficult financially and they made decisions based on the promise of receiving a large sum from the nest. These decisions led to a certain amount of deception that leave the reader wondering what will happen next.
This book deals with more than just financial issues, though, it deals with a lot of things that are relatable to the average reader. This book deals with love, loss, deception, acceptance, moving on, letting go, and so many other things that people can relate to. This book explores sexuality and figuring out what it means and how to tell people. This book explores parenthood and accepting that you are unable to control everything that goes on in your children’s lives. Finally, this book deals with family relationships and how tragedy tends to bring families together and how sometimes the tragedy can help repair relationships.
I enjoyed this book and I had a difficult time putting it down. The story was fast-paced and the short chapters made me want to read just one more chapter. I wanted to know what would happen next, what new drama would unfold, and how the characters would react to the developments. Before I knew it, I only had fifty pages left and at that point, I had to finish the book. The characters in this book are interesting and intriguing and I became invested in their story and what was happening to the Plumb family.
Overall, I give this book four out of five stars. I really enjoyed The Nest but it I didn’t enjoy it as much as other books I gave five stars to. I also felt like there were a few too many characters in this book, even though the storylines were all interconnected.
Rating: 4/5 Stars!