I read The Nest over a month ago now. Normally, I post book reviews one to ten days after I’ve finished reading, depending upon how busy I am. The reason for my delay with The Nest, though, is entirely different. Pure confusion. I simply cannot decide whether or not I liked the book.
Normally, The Nest is exactly the type of book I adore. I bring it to the beach and am unable to focus on anything or anyone until I complete it, and, upon completion, am unable to stop talking about it. I felt this way with A Window Opens, Everybody Rise, and, my most recent read, The Assistants. My experience with The Nest followed essentially the same pattern described above, except, once I finished, I wasn’t compelled by the usual desire to recommend the book to all my friends. Instead, I found myself reflecting on the pages I had plowed through and struggling to ascertain whether any of the central characters of the story had any redeeming qualities: I came up short, and this bothered me immensely. You’ll have to read it to see whether or not you agree, but if you’re interested in hearing about the actual plot rather than my musings on the quality of content, continue below.
The Nest follows the Plumbs, a family of four siblings—Jack, Leo, Melanie, and Bea—all of whom are dependent upon the trust fund their father left them for different reasons. The fund had modest beginnings—intended as nothing more than a bit of a bump for each sibling if needed—but the family money manager did an exceptional job in navigating it through the many bubbles and crises of the early 2000s, and it ultimately grew to a sum that none of them ever expected to see.
The Plumbs expected to come into the money as soon as Melanie, the youngest, turned forty, but an unforeseen and tragic accident throws a wrench in their plans. All of the children, who, riding on the expectation of inheritance, stretched themselves financially thin—and are now in dire straits. The novel follows their attempts to reconcile their sudden onslaught of issues—whether monetary, familial, or romantic. The novel is a page-turning, gasp (and sometimes cringe)-inducing peek into the lives of the Plumbs. Despite what I thought of the character, the book is an undeniable contender for one of summer’s biggest beach reads.