Do y’all remember the scene in Annie Hall where Woody Allen is telling Diane Keaton how much he loves her? But the mere word, love, isn’t enough to express his happiness? “I lurve you,” he says. “I loave you. I luff you.” His feelings for her are so intense they threaten to overwhelm him, and that tiny, insignificant word, love, isn’t enough to do them justice. That’s how I feel about this book. I didn’t love it, I lurved it. I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to live inside its pages.
The upperclass, Manhattan-bred, slightly snobbish Plumb siblings are as charming and they are dysfunctional. The youngest, Melody, is a suburban mom of two teenage twin girls. Beatrice is a writer-turned-literary-magazine-employee who peaked professionally years ago. Jack is a gay antique shop owner and Leo, the oldest, is a disaster who recently squandered away their family’s inheritance to pay off the woman he injured in a recent drunk driving accident.
Their father warned them not to count on their inheritance – which the Plumbs refer to as “the nest” – but nevertheless, each sibling is in financial straits. So when they discover that their money has all but disappeared, they give Leo three months to come up with it. The Nest follows each Plumb through this time as familial tensions run high and desperation grows.
The Nest is a smart, darkly comic, and emotionally satisfying story of what it means to be family. It explores the messy relationship between siblings and the difference between the love you choose and the love you are biologically bound to. The story was so twisty, imaginative, and transporting, I felt like I was living in this book rather than reading it, and I didn’t want this life to end.
Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, when oh when is your next book coming out?
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