I just finished one of the “buzz” books on my list, The Nest. This book is on countless “to read” lists and has been buzzed about from many people. It’s also the perfect summer book, rich white people problems and family drama! I love a good dose of family drama and these problems aren’t heartbreaking, or really deep. No one is going into poverty or anything. It’s a lighter read with just as much drama as a deep literary novel, which I found very enjoyable.
The story centers around the Plumb family. Leo, Jack, Bea, and Melody are the siblings in a rich New York family. Their late father Leonard put away money for his children to recieve in mid-life. The sum was modest but he had a great investment team and now the money is anything but modest. Francie, their mother is the only one who can access the money before the disbursement date, Melody’s 40th Birthday.
Months before the disbursement date, Leo, the oldest brother gets in big trouble. High off of cocaine, he picks up a waitress at a wedding and takes off in his car and wrecks the car. The girl he is with is seriously injured, and ends up losing her foot. Oh and he was married and left his wife at the wedding. Francie takes money out of The Nest to pay off the girl to keep quiet and not sue and sends Leo to rehab. This severely reduced The Nest. They would all still get money but not near what they were going to get.
This is a problem because they all have plans for their share of The Nest. Jack has an antique shop and has borrowed against his husband’s vacation home without his knowledge. Bea is widowed and has suffered from writers block for years. She had been dropped from book deals and is having a hard time getting her inspiration back. Melody has twin teenage daughters about to go to college, and of course they are looking at private schools only. They also live in a house they can’t afford. But everything will be solved for all with The Nest. Except when it’s gone.
Leo meets with his siblings, promising he will come up with a plan to pay it back. And the book follows his return to the real world, a divorced, unemployed, selfish cocky asshole. We also follow the rest of the family as they deal with their own issues. There are other storylines following non family members and different generations.
A shared trait in the Plumb children is selfishness. Leo selfishly got into this mess and though he could pay his siblings with money he’s hidden, he chooses not to. Ultimately, when things don’t go his way, he leaves. Jack lies to his husband and tries to fix his issues by taking advantage of a sweet widower. Bea writes a book based off what Leo did in the accident and wants to publish it. She also ignores advances by multiple men who care for her. Melody feels like she was ignored a lot as a child. And now she wants attention from her family and control over her daughters. Francie seems to have given them this trait, she pays for Leo’s mishap because she doesn’t want to be embarrassed by having it all over town.
I enjoyed the sub plots in here as well. The story kept moving forward but I thought the twins, Nora and Louisa were beautifully written. The woman from the wreck is also followed in the book and her story was very well written too. These subplots balance the frivolous financial problems that the main sibling a face. I also found the book incredibly funny in parts which I enjoyed.
My problem comes in at the end of the book. It all ends in a very “full circle” almost fake feeling ending. I have a hard time believing that the selfish Plumb family all suddenly saw the postitives in life. I just wanted a bit more of a realistic ending. But overall I think this is a great summer book and an awesome debut novel.