Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
The Last Word Review
I wonder how many reading this have thought when hearing about someone coming into a lot of money either through a lottery win or inherited will love the debut novel The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney.
We join the dysfunctional Plumb siblings enjoying life and waiting for the day when their long awaited father’s inheritance lands in their lap. Their father had not anticipated that this fund would not be as big but following his death the Plumbs learn that their ‘Nest’ has been inflated way beyond anything that they could imagine this thanks to the ‘markets’ out of control valuations. The Plumbs are not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination and are already eying the Nest and how they want to spend their inheritance that is until one night one of the Plumbs crashes his car.
Leo is the older of the Plum siblings at 46 and not too responsible considering his age and a rather unhappy marriage to go with it. So when he is involved in a car crash overdosed on alcohol and drugs, that in itself is not good news but add in a 19- year-old waitress he picked up at a wedding and who is badly hurt The Nest is raided to ‘shush’ this up. The Nest was not in any way meant for a situation such as this and Leo’s indiscretion has now put a very large hole in their inheritance.
One aspect of the story that I enjoyed was how the author takes the reader on a grand tour of New York through the pages of The Nest, it really worked for me, whether it was Grand Central Station or Central Park or the famous Natural History Museum it really added to the how the story plays out for the Plumbs.
With the other siblings Melody, Bea and Jack now looking at vastly depleted inheritance pot, they meet Leo and want to know two things, how and when is the fund going to be replaced. It is like watching a comedy film through the pages of a wonderfully written novel.
This is actually a very clever ploy that Sweeney has pulled on the reader, as you now start to ask yourself about how you or any of us come to think of it would handle this situation. Some families are close knit but sometimes all it takes is a hair-trigger moment and sibling rivalry breaks out and with the Plumbs it is their fiscal aspirations and The Nest that was their inheritance but that now has gone thanks to the eldest of the sibling’s Leo’s behaviour, replacing that now depleted cash fund is not easy for Leo especially when his wife just likes to spend his money.
I really enjoyed how each character has been created each one a pure individual, even their late father described each of them brilliantly. Look out for some sub-plots within the main thread of the story but does not distract the reader from the main family fiscal drama that is being played out on a grand scale.
Sweeney’s debut novel is a joy to read and is full of wit and humour as well as the family dramas and some home truths as well as the lies and jealousies. Just throw money into a family circle and you have the perfect storyline. A great read.
My thanks to Hayley Camis for an advanced review copy.
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney is published by The Borough Press and was released on 19 May and is available through all branches of Waterstones and all good bookshops.