I have fickle and impatient taste in books. Not necessarily in an intellectual, deep thinking way, but if a book does not entertain me from page one, I’m out; so when I started to read “The Nest” by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, I was thrilled when it drew me in right away. “The Nest” is a little bit “The Family Stone,” “This Is Where I Leave You,” and “Love Actually” to name a few of my favorite books and movies.
At the start of the book, a dramatic event occurs because of the poor judgement of one member of the Plumb family. Of course it is the sibling who is always botching things up and always the shyster. Because of his actions, the anticipated family inheritance is compromised…well, more like gone. The Nest is what the adult children have fondly named their inheritance, and they reverently refer to it frequently, like it is another functioning member of the family. All of the siblings are counting on this money, and the knowledge of the cash in their futures has dictated many important decisions in their separate lives. They have been waiting a long time for the money. As per their deceased father’s will, they do not receive the inheritance until the youngest in the family turns forty. Because of the anticipation of the Nest, each member of this family was on a trajectory to failure.
About a maladjusted family with many backstories thrown in, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney writes with great humor, depth, and character development. The writing is comical but not shallow. The author writes about the matriarch of the family, “For years, the Plumbs had told one another that their mother was just a mean drunk. If she would just stop drinking! They’d say, She’ll be fine. They eagerly awaited her transformation only to discover that they already knew her true nature: She was just a little mean.” So this is a glimpse of the head of this family, and the story unfolds along with everyone’s share of drama, dysfunction, and angst.
Pick up this great read. It will make you feel good about your own flawed and quirky families, and it will make you happy that you will stay grounded because you do not have a huge family inheritance in your future…well, maybe not!
Staff of Wellington Square Book Shop