THE NEST by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, 2016, HarperCollins
It’s hard to resist the charms of a bad boy …even when he’s your brother. Leo Plumb could be described as a bad boy. Handsome, intelligent, charming, rich (sometimes). Life with him alternates between a ride in the fast lane and a train wreck.
The Nest is the story of four New York City siblings, anxiously awaiting their inheritance which they’ve come to refer to as ‘the nest’. The arrangement stipulates that the foursome are to inherit their money on the occasion of the youngest’s 40th birthday. That day is fast approaching and the siblings are counting on it, to say the least.
Between Leo and Melody age-wise, we have Bea and Jack. Bea once showed great promise as a gifted short-story writer, but hasn’t written much of anything lately, and can’t even get her publisher to return her phone calls. Jack has his own problems. An antiques dealer, he finds himself up to his eyeballs in debt, which he has been hiding from his husband, Walker.
Add a one-armed man, a woman with one foot, and a surreal story about a statue from the World Trade Centre, and you have the remaining ingredients for this New York City story which is both funny and touching.
As tensions build, we finally arrive at the highly anticipated day of Melody’s 40th. Jack and Walker are hosting her birthday dinner at their home. All gather with their hopes and dreams pinned to this event, still believing their eldest sibling just might come through for them…
So, how does it all turn out? The author keeps us turning the pages to the end with plenty of opportunity for reflection along the way. The many themes such as trust, betrayal, responsibility, love, family, friendship, relationships, and of course, money, are topics that will keep your book club conversation hopping. With Thanksgiving approaching, many of us find ourselves looking forward to (or perhaps dreading) our own family get-togethers, which makes this entertaining and perceptive novel a great read at this time of year. Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney serves up all the ingredients for a much anticipated family dinner and a delicious discussion for your book club.
Happy Reading! Sue, Best New Book Club