By Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
Rating 4/5 Stairs
The four Plumb siblings have been counting on what they refer to as The Nest (their trust fund) for years. In just a few months when Melody, the youngest, turns forty, the Plumbs will be able to access their equal shares. Knowing the date is on the horizon, Melody and Jack are depending on that money to come through. Until Leo has his accident. Now the future of The Nest (and the siblings) is an unknown.
The Nest gives the reader a glimpse into the lives of the Plumb family. It seems that up to now, the siblings have had strained and distant relationships with each other. Throughout the book we get to learn more about each person individually (and their family units), and how they connect together as brothers and sisters. Will Leo come through and save The Nest for his brother and sisters? Or will each Plumb have to re-imagine their lives from this point forward?
Honestly, the majority of the Plumb siblings are pretty unlikable, with the exception of Beatrice. Leo and Jack are both shallow in their own way, unafraid to risk hurting those they love (and those the don’t) to get what they want. Melody is a self-proclaimed general who pinches as many pennies as she can in order to keep up with the Joneses (or at least the appearance of keeping up). Poor Beatrice has been in a writing slump for years, unable to find the inspiration to write her second book.
In addition to the Plumbs, we have a few other characters that pop up throughout the novel. I wondered where Ms. Sweeney was going with these secondary story lines, a few of them seemed a little random. But in the end she pulled them all together nicely.
Overall, The Nest is an interesting look at the importance of money. When you’ve been counting on a trust fund to come through, and then it’s jeopardized, can you live the life you intended? What is really important? Can the siblings come together during this financial crisis and find happiness in themselves? The characters may have been unlikable, but the story was compelling until the end.