Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

They have lived their lives in anticipation.  There are four Plumb children and each has taken a different path through life.  Leo is the eldest and is a charming, manipulative man who made a fortune early in his career with an online magazine that was a path breaker.  Jack runs an antique store and has recently married his longtime partner, Walker.  Bea is an author who showed great early promise but has produced nothing in years.  Melody is the baby and lives the most conventional life with her family in the suburbs.  She has twins who are about to head off to college and they consume all her energies.

In the background of each life was always 'the nest'.  This is their nickname for the trust that their father left.  It will be paid out when Melody turns forty and they have all planned their lives around the substantial amount each will get then.  No matter what poor decisions they might make, they rested easy in the knowledge that the nest was there to save them.

Then disaster occurs.  An event happens that depletes the nest and each person is now thrown back on their own devices.  They must decide if they will pull together as a family in a new way or each go off on a separate path, alone.  The loss redefines each person, highlighting mistakes yet freeing them from past expectations.

Sweeney has written an engaging tale that follows the life paths of the four siblings.  The family interactions play out along with the typical life choices that define each person's life.  Each individual's character is tested as they must change their life plans to accommodate a new reality.  This book is recommended for family relationship readers.

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