The Nest: great summer read or…for the birds?

NestThe Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney is everywhere! Whether you’re looking on lists for the best beach books of the summer, the top 2016 Reads – or even the popular Heather’s Picks (as chosen by Chapters/Indigo CEO Heather Reisman) you’ll undoubtedly find that The Nest is one of the most hyped novels of the season.

This quirky novel follows the dysfunctional Plumb family and the ensuing drama of the four New York siblings as they cheat, backstab and conspire for their share of the soon-to-be-allotted family inheritance (aka The Nest).

The story opens with the most irresponsible and oldest brother Leo, who is fresh out of rehab, arriving at a hi-brow wedding freshly amped up on drugs and booze. After ditching his wife, Leo seduces a young cocktail waitress into a joy ride that comes to a crashing conclusion. While Leo escapes any serious harm, the family trust fund is now in deep peril.

Sweeny introduces each of the other three siblings Jack, Beatrice and Melody and their complicated reasons for being so dependent (and desperate) on the promised family money. Yet now instead of enjoying the inheritance, each must face their new reality.

Sounds good so far? Check out these reviews:

“Her writing is like really good dark chocolate: sharper and more bittersweet than the cheap stuff, but also too delicious not to finish in one sitting.” —Entertainment Weekly

 “Large hearted and witty, The Nest is a tender portrait of a family who must face their past choices and the consequences of their expected inheritance on their relationships and one another.” —Buzzfeed

“Intoxicating…I couldn’t stop reading or caring about the juicy and dysfunctional Plumb family —Amy Poehler (comedian)

Globe and Mail calls it an ‘instant bestseller!’

Yet for all the positive reviews, there’s some less than glowing appraisals. Many readers point out that THE NEST is ‘too light,’ with not enough depth or character development. Some call the main characters ‘selfish and shallow’ and others say they’re downright “unlikeable.” Or how about this one…”for anyone reading THE NEST…the eggs just don’t hatch.”

There is no doubt that Sweeney creates a humorous story around the role that money can play in relationships. Yet while Sweeney sets out to expose a family’s emotional truths while keeping the story light and peppered with notes of irony and hints of satire – does it work?

Bottom line is THE NEST a sizzling summer hit, or a lukewarm read? If you’ve read THE NEST – let us know if you would recommend it. Please post your comments here.

2 thoughts on “The Nest: great summer read or…for the birds?

  • July 14, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    I too read The Nest and had mixed feelings. I started off disliking it quite a bit, as I did not want to read about entitled, wealthy brats. As the book explored a bit more of the siblings back-stories, it did get much more interesting. Many of the characters are definitely unlikeable but I thought that there were enough moments to redeem the novel as a whole. It certainly is not my favourite book of the summer, but I didn’t hate it.

  • July 20, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    I really thought this was a complex introspective analysis of a family and their inherent traumatic lives; an interesting story. Sure, the characters and family as a whole were dysfunctional but that is true to form in many families. The character development was intriguing, and though they were not very likeable, they were well developed in their own intrinsically, wayward personalities’. I certainly found this a page turner.

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