Book Review: “The Nest” by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

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“The Nest” by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney


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 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.”

Rose-Worthy Features

            One thing that I loved about this book was the complexity of the characters. If I could describe the Plumb family in one word, it would be dysfunctional. The oldest was Leo, and it’s safe to say that he’s a HOT MESS. He’s a player, irresponsible and makes stupid decisions. Next, there was Bea, and honestly, she wasn’t that involved in the book. There were a few chapters that were following her, but she wasn’t always in the book. Bea is an author and the closest sibling to Leo. The third sibling is Jack, and he was one of my favorites. He is ambitious, hard-working, sometimes a snob, but still one of the most intriguing characters. Last but not least there is the youngest sibling, Melody. Melody was an interesting character. She is the only one of her siblings who had children, and I found it interesting to watch her grow from being a mother.  Melody was quiet, but she definitely had a problem with spending money. My favorite characters were Jack and Melody. I liked reading their chapters the most, and I found them the most interesting.

            I did like reading about the relationships in this book. I loved the inclusivity with Walker being gay and Nora, Melody’s daughter questioning her sexuality. Leo was a hot mess in the relationship department. He’s going through, a divorce, he starts up with an old fling, which leads to a big surprise. He is the king of terrible relationships. Bea starts things up with a guy, but it’s not really focused on.

Thorny Features

            The plot was something I had mixed feelings about. I love a well-structured plot with a clear problem, but this story seemed a little off. At first, it was about the Plumb family trying to get their trust fund, The Nest, but that isn’t mentioned as much towards the end of the book. Then Leo its all about finding Leo. There wasn’t a set problem. There were lots of moments that I found entertaining to read, and even though the plot was kind of messy, it was still entertaining to read.

            There were some moments in this book that was kind of confusing. Like I didn’t understand anything that involved Matilda. Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention, but I wished it just stuck to the Plumb family.

            This book talks about the rocky relationship between the Plumb siblings and their mother, but it only mentions it a couple of times. I wished there were more scenes with the mom involved, I think that would help explain why this family was so dysfunctional.

Final Thoughts

            Overall, I rate this book a 3 out of 5. This book wasn’t bad, and it had some interesting moments. I liked the complexity of the characters. If you liked watching Lorelai’s wealthy life and her struggles with her mom and dad, then I think you will like this book. There were some things that I wasn’t a big fan of in this book, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless.

Buy The Book (Affiliate Links)

✰ ‘The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

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