Saturday, April 16, 2016

(37)The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney


For years the Plum siblings have been waiting for the day they would receive the inheritance they have designated "The Nest".  Their father set it up so that they would receive their money on the fortieth birthday of the youngest sibling, Melody.  They all have made some sketchy financial decisions with the belief that "The Nest" will be there to bail them out of trouble.  Melody has mixed feelings about turning forty. With twin daughters heading off to college and a crazy-high mortgage she desperately needs that inheritance to keep her family afloat.  Jack needs that inheritance to pay back a HELOC that he took out to keep his business afloat, and did so without his husband knowing. He needs that money to pay back the loan before it destroys his marriage.   Bea needs the inheritance to fund her dwindling writing career.  And then there is Leo, unknown to the siblings, they all gave up "The Nest" to pay off a young girl who was severely injured in an accident that was caused by Leo's excessive drug and alcohol use.  The Plum siblings have never really been close, but the shocking revelation that their nest has dwindled is enough to bring them together against a common foe, Leo.  Will the siblings be able to get the restitution from Leo that they desperately need?  And if Leo can't pay them back,  will they be able to get their lives together without "The Nest" they have been waiting for all these years?


As a woman with a lot of siblings, I thoroughly enjoyed The Nest.  The dynamics in this family are based on decades of dysfunction and years of animosity.  One would argue that Leo is the most messed up of the group.  He has arrogantly lived a life of excess and was on the verge of divorce when he took that poor waitress on a fateful drive in his Ferrari.  All of the Plum siblings are relieved that Leo wasn't injured, but none of them are shocked that it happened. But they ARE shocked when they realize that he has cost them their nest egg.  I think of all the Plum siblings, it was Stephanie, Leo's sometime love interest that was my favorite.  She had been connected to the Plum family for many years, but she was a little more "together" than the others.  My next favorite was probably Melody.  I could easily relate to her and her sense of inferiority with the other moms at school.  She tried to pretend to be a part of them and knowing the nest was coming gave her courage to try to fit in with them.  Besides the Plum siblings we get to hear the story of Nora and Louisa, Melody's daughters.  We also get to know Matilda, the young lady injured in the accident, and others.  It really gives the story a kind of depth that leaves the reader completely invested in these people.  In the end, "The Nest"  (or lack of) brought the siblings together in a way that nothing ever had before and that is enough to warm even the coldest of hearts.

Bottom line - The Nest is a delightfully funny and entertaining read.  The Plum siblings are endearing in a pretentious, yet genuine way that you are night likely to forget anytime soon.

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