Warning! Spoiler Alert!
The four adult Plumb siblings are about to inherit $500,000 each from their deceased father. Affectionately called the nest (as in nest egg) their inheritance well exceeds their expectations while at the same time, is already spent for some of them. Then the eldest, Leo, high and drunk, and being stimulated by a nineteen-year-old waitress, get in an accident resulting in her losing a foot. His mother, Francie, secretly dips into the nest to pay for Leo’s stint at an expensive rehab center, pay off his soon to be ex-wife, Victoria, and silence the waitress. The inheritance is reduced to %10 of the original amount or $50,000 per person (including Leo).
At the beginning of the book, the Plumb’s aren’t close. Leo is the got-getter rogue that struck it rich, married rich, and whose partying ways are what always gets him in trouble. Beatrice or Bea, a once up and coming novelist, has been in a ten-year writing drought. Jack is seen as the lesser version of Leo or “Leo Lite” as he’s called. He has grand ideas without the ability to execute them. The youngest is Melody, is a housewife and Helicopter mom to twin daughters.
The only reason the siblings come together at all is that their inheritance is coming on Melody’s fortieth birthday and Leo is fresh out of rehab. They want to meet with Leo to explain that the amount of money he got was not a gift but a loan. However, they seem to believe it’ll be in vain.
The Nest represents the family’s dynamic. It’s what the family has always relied on; it’s their safety net, their better life to erase past failures. It isn’t until the accident, and their promised future is threatened that the siblings change. What was inevitable doom becomes life at its simplest—a life to enjoy and to develop something money can’t buy, family.
Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s debut novel is an interesting read, if at times frustrating and slow. I have a hard time reading about elitist crying over still large sums of money. There was also a ridiculously over-written sexual experience between two seventeen-year-olds that seemed to be put in for pure titillation factor. It happens between two secondary characters and has nothing to do with furthering the plot. Any place where a juicy scene is expected to star any of the main characters is scaled down to about %10, ironically. Overall, I liked The Nest, and it’s 353 pages, and that it ends resolutely. I put it as a Main Course because of content.