I received this book for free from requested from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
A wickedly smart, funny and deeply felt debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of their long depended-upon family inheritance
On a wintry afternoon in New York City, Melody, Beatrice and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, who has just been released from rehab. Leo’s bad behavior before entering rehab, culminating in a car crash while under the influence—a nineteen-year-old waitress beside him—has left the Plumbs’ joint trust fund—“The Nest,” as they’ve taken to calling it—endangered. All four siblings, at very different places in their lives, believe that this money will solve a host of self-inflicted problems and their consequences. And until Leo’s accident, they’d been mere months away from receiving it.
Can Leo get the Plumbs out of this mess, as he’s always been able to do for himself before? Or will the Plumb siblings have to do without the money and the future lives they’ve envisioned? As the siblings grapple with family tensions, old histories, and the significant emotional and financial cost of the accident, Sweeney introduces an unforgettable cast of supporting characters: Leo’s stalwart ex-girlfriend who now thinks that maybe, just maybe, he is capable of change; the waitress whose life was shattered in the accident; the Iraqi war veteran who falls in love with her; and a retired, grieving firefighter with a very big secret.
Tender, funny and deftly written, The Nest explores what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of our lives, and the fraught but unbreakable ties we have with our families.
Starting out with Leo, the oldest Plumb brother gets into a car accident that unravels the Plumb family: Jack, Bea and Melody. They’re all waiting for their inheritance which they call the Nest. Each sibling has a secret that they’re hiding. They need the money and quickly.
No family is perfect. Neither are the wealthy. This is about a dysfunctional wealthy family. All these characters at first hand are spoiled to the core. Who have grown selfish. Who back-stab and cheat and blackmail. And not just to their wives or husbands but to their own siblings. When I was reading along, getting to the halfway point, I realized that this is probably Sweeney’s way of growing her characters. And thank goodness I kept going. Because what ended up happening was the beautiful moment in a book nerd’s reading experience, I couldn’t put it down.
The characters grew so real to me. What I saw in the beginning was just a little opening into their own little lives. My judgement of them grew less and there all of a sudden were more relatable characters who made mistakes, who tried to protect their family, who just wanted to be close to their siblings. I liked it immensely and couldn’t put it down. That was the beauty of the book. The touching moments between mother and daughter or brother and sister. I kind of wished their mother had more of an impact, but I’m guessing she was absent for most of their lives. And then there’s Leo. He was the only character that stayed the same and I was disappointed in him.
Intricately developed characters, the Plumb family (however dysfunctional they may be) will provide you with an emotional reading experience. A wonderful literary debut!