Review: ‘The Nest’ by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

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.

Review: ‘The Nest’ by Cynthia D’Aprix SweeneyThe Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
Published by HarperCollins on March 22nd, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Family
Pages: 353
Format: Paperback
Source: requested from publisher
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.

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book review


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!


book quotes

He was happy to set aside some funds to provide a modest safety net for his children’s future, but he also wanted them to be financially independent and to value hard work. (33)
I need to spend time with somebody normal, somebody I actually like. (37)
How had they raised children who were so impractical and yet still so entitled? (45)
Appearances count. If you want people to judge you based on the inside, don’t distract them from the outside. (109)
Sometimes a small change could make all the difference. (121)
Your problem is you’re worried about being everyone’s mirror and that’s not your job. (180)
Why aren’t you mad enough to ask for what you deserve? (201)
Why was it so easy to wound the people you love the most? (308)
It was usually the woman who had the courage to step away from something broken. The men held on for dear life. (316)

reading progress






  1. G K

    August 30, 2016 at 10:02 PM

    I love funny and sweet stories whether it be in books or movies. The sibling dynamic sounds like a good one.

  2. Tasya

    May 22, 2016 at 11:51 AM

    This sounds really interesting! I’ve read about dysfunctional families, but never an adult one, so I’m a bit hesistant to pick this one up. But now I think I’m going to read it for sure, I love books that have great character development!
    Tasya recently posted…Hello, It’s Me {The Get to Know Me Tag}My Profile

  3. Lianne @

    May 17, 2016 at 9:29 AM

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book! I’ve been seeing this book everywhere and while I’m a fan of reading books about dysfunctional families, I’ve been iffy whether or not to pick it up. We’ll see xD
    Lianne @ recently posted…Top Ten TuesdaysMy Profile

  4. Paige

    May 13, 2016 at 8:26 AM

    I was excited to read this book and it was a disappointing read for me. I had a hard time liking any of the characters. I am reviewing this on my blog on Monday and could only give it 3 out of 5 stars. I like reading other bloggers opinions of it. 🙂

    • giselle

      May 16, 2016 at 12:51 PM

      I felt like most of the characters finally realized the error of their ways by the end, except one. I’m sorry it was so disappointing..Honestly, I wanted there to be more but it was a very well developed character list.

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