‘The Nest’ explores rivalry, dysfunctional relationships

"The Nest."
Cynthia-Web
Cynthia D’Aprix. Photo courtesy.
By Tarryn Lingle

Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s debut novel explores the impact money can have on families and individuals. “The Nest,” released March 22, currently sits at No. 3 on The New York Time’s Best-Sellers List.

Sweeney was a marketing copywriter for two decades before deciding to go back to school to learn how to write fiction at the age of 50. Sweeney earned a Master of Fine Arts from the Bennington Writing Seminars and published her first novel at 54.

Plot

When the outcome of their shared inheritance comes into play, the dysfunctional Plumb family from New York must confront their problems both as a group and as individuals.

Siblings Melody, Beatrice and Jack lose their expected inheritance when their mother drains the account to assist reckless older brother after a drunk driving accident.

Each child has their own reasons for wanting their inheritance. Melody is consumed by debt from her mortgage and her children’s college tuition. Jack has borrowed against a shared estate between him and his husband to keep his store open. Beatrice can’t finish her past-due novel.

Each sibling finds themselves rethinking their life financially and fighting over whatever money is left over, and it forces them to figure out how Leo will pay each of them back.

The family is brought together in a way that they have never been before. Together they face the unknown fate of their inheritance, forcing them to deal with their problems in turn.

This story explores the possibilities of what money can do to people and relationships, how people’s lives change over a course of time and the ties people share with the ones they love.

“The Nest” shows the many facets of family relationships and the ups and downs that come with them.

"The Nest."
“The Nest.”

Review

The book has received praise from authors and critics. Publishers Weekly called it “assured, energetic and adroitly plotted” while Kirkus Reviews dubbed it a “fetching debut.”

“Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney delivers an acerbic satire of the leisure class while crafting an affecting human story that embroils us utterly in the fates of the Plumbs,” wrote Matthew Thomas, author of “We Are Not Ourselves.” “This book keeps its blade sharp and its heart open.”

Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote “Eat, Pray, Love,” said Sweeney was both clever and emotionally astute, calling her debut novel “a masterfully constructed, darkly comic and immensely captivating tale.”

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