Book Review: The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

Release Date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Ecco
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368 pages
Genre: Fiction
Buy: Paperback | Kindle | 


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.


This book is a like a case study of a dysfunctional family.  The Plumb siblings have been left an inheritance by their father that has grown to a sizable sum.  It was only supposed to be a small sum of money not something that the kids would count on but that changed as the amount grew. Instead of living within their means all the siblings have lived counting on the day they come into their inheritance affectionally referred to as "the nest".

After an unfortunate night out the matriarch of the family using the money in the nest to save one of the siblings and save the family name.  Now all the siblings are scrambling hoping that their brother will repay the Nest.

There were funny moments, sad moments, but mostly this is a story of how a family tries to repair their relationships and learn how to live and create their own fortune, and forge honest relationships. This is really a book about what happens to a family when the money is all gone.  How they learn to recreate themselves, or not.  Not all of the characters were likeable but they were realistically portrayed.  I enjoyed reading this.