The Nest * *, a "warm, funny and acutely perceptive" debut by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney is about the four Plumb siblings, and the fate of their joint trust fund - “The Nest,” that has shaped their lives, and the choices they make.
Jack, Beatrice and Melody Plumb meet on an unseasonably cold October afternoon in New York City to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly out of rehab. Back in August at a family wedding, an inebriated and stoned Leo crashed his car on a country road, and his passenger, a 19 year-old waitress was badly hurt. To make his troubles go away, Leo pillages The Nest, just as it is about to be distributed on Melody's (the baby of the family) 40th birthday. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have been counting on the money (thanks to the bull market) to solve a number of self-inflicted problems, financial and otherwise.
Melody is about to lose her painstakingly restored house in the suburb and worries about college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker and is truly desperate for cash. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. They are all relying on Leo to somehow restore the fund. "The rest of the book is a wise, affectionate study of how expectations play out in our lives—not just financial ones..."
"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."
For readers who enjoyed The View From Penthouse B by Elinor Lipman; The Vacationers by Emma Straub ; and The Red House by Mark Haddon. Readers familiar with Wes Anderson's films would likely draw comparison to The Royal Tenenbaums.
* * = starred reviews