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1.0 out of 5 starsWhen will do publishing embrace good books? The characters in this book were so ...
Reviewed in the United States on December 16, 2016
When will do publishing embrace good books? The characters in this book were so superficial and their situations predictable and shallow. Forced my way through this one. Kudos marketing department. It just shows you can market crap and people will buy it.
4.0 out of 5 starsUnlike Most of the Reader Reviewers, I Liked This Book!
Reviewed in the United States on May 8, 2019
I liked this book! And it would appear that based on many of the reader reviews this is distinctly a minority opinion.
Granted, it's not great literature, but most definitely it is not as awful as so many are depicting it. Written by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, this is a story about well-off New Yorkers and their bad boy (or bad girl) ways. And it's fun to read, even though the plot is fairly—but not entirely—predictable.
The four Plumb siblings, Leo, Beatrice, Jack, and Melody, have known for decades that when Melody, the youngest, turns 40, they will inherit what their eccentric father thought of as nothing more than a small nest egg. A bit of extra money in midlife to pay down a mortgage or put a kid through college. Nothing life-changing. But their deceased daddy didn't count on a runaway stock market that left the little nest egg hurtling toward $2 million. Then their equally-eccentric mother, who is the fund's trustee, is forced to use "the Nest," as the kids call it, to bail out one of the sibs after a scandal and keep the family name out of the gossip pages. The problem is that the others were totally counting on this money—as in, they could each be financially ruined if they don't get it. But the book is so much more than that. The four are each having a life crisis—the kind that money can't fix. And that is the heart and soul of the story.
The book is an interesting examination of the power of money—actually, just the idea of money—for good and evil and how that power can take over and distort an otherwise good life.
I was reeled in by the great cover and because I'm a sucker for contemporary family drama and dysfunction. But these are stock characters, and the narrative is just incredibly boring. LIKE, SO BORING. Very disappointing because I was looking forward to reading this book for a long time. I'm just happy I didn't spend more than the discounted Kindle price. (Full disclosure, I only read 50% of the book before stopping.)
1.0 out of 5 starsWhat? Best seller?! Excruciating read. Pass!
Reviewed in the United States on October 7, 2016
I only saw the negative reviews after I had purchased this one. But thought I would give it a try and go in with an open mind. Lots had said they quit half way through so I thought maybe it has some profound ending to elicit a best seller status. But sadly no.
Too many characters. Like 20 or so names mentioned. Hard to keep track so having to read and reread since the story jumped all over the place. Lots of descriptive scenes but over the top and unnecessary. I just feel like the story didn't go anywhere. Page after page just trying to figure out why are we learning about this to have all the stories thrown together at the end for still no purpose. What was the point of this story? Nothing to learn and definitely not emotionally invested in the characters. This must be the authors first book. But again why so many accolades?
The minute I read the first sentence of this book from the Prologue, I regretted selecting it.
Let me share the first sentence (yes, this is ONE sentence):
"As the rest of the guests wandered the deck of the beach club under an early-evening midsummer sky, taking pinched, appraising sips of their cocktails to gauge if the bartenders were using the top-shelf stuff and balancing tiny crab cakes on paper napkins while saying appropriate things about how they'd really lucked out with the weather because the humidity would be back tomorrow, or murmuring inappropriate things about the bride's snug satin dress, wondering if the spilling cleavage was due to poor tailoring or poor taste (a look as their own daughters might say) or an unexpected weight gain, winking and making tired jokes about exchanging toasters for diapers, Leo Plumb left his cousin's wedding with one of the waitresses."
First let me say that very rarely do I NOT finish a book but this book merited not finishing. While the story is somewhat predictable and cliché (just read the first sentence), it would not have been so bad if the writing had been better. All tell, no show, which I find maddening. And overwritten to the point where I wanted to claw my eyes out every time I turned a page. I can't believe all of the high ratings for this book, and surely, I can expect to receive a lot of down-voting from folks who are voting on my opposing opinion rather than the quality of my review, but this book was so awful, I'll take the heat.
In a nutshell, the book follows the events that occur after Leo "left his cousin's wedding with one of the waitresses" (see above) and in an inebriated state and receiving a service from the waitress, crashes his car, leaving the poor waitress footless. Thanks to this accident, their father's estate, poised for distribution when the youngest Plumb sibling turns 40 is redirected in order to deal with Leo's indiscretions, legal bills and to make the now footless waitress disappear from their lives.
Now that the four Plumb siblings have lost their inheritance or nest egg (aka "The Nest"), all of their shady goings on have nowhere to hide.
Leo, the oldest is a disgusting pig, a user of people, sucking them dry for his own personal needs. Next in line is Jack, a gay antique shop owner (really?) with a country house. I guess I'm just a little tired of seeing gay people portrayed in the same cliché businesses over and over and over so that annoyed me. Newsflash: Gay people work in all professions, not just antiquing. Oh and he has a lot of financial issues too.
Next cliché sibling is Bea, a wanna-be writer who can't get over lost love, because all creative people hold torches for their lost loves (Dante? Beatrice? Really?). Now she's too sad to move on.
Melody, the last of the Plump siblings was the most realistic of the four, trying to raise twin daughters and manage her expensive dream house in Connecticut. At least this portrayal is representative of the many people living outside of their means. But...
I closed the book forever on the first page of chapter 22, when I read the first few sentences:
"When Matilda was recovering in the hospital and found out how much money she was getting from the Plumb family, she had all kinds of fantasies about what to do with it. (Shamefully, she remembered that her first involuntary thought was a pair of suede boots she'd coveted, the ones that went over the knee and stopped midthigh, then she remembered.) She thought about the trips and clothes and cars and flat screen televisions. She thought about buying her sister her own beauty salon, which she'd always wanted. She thought about buying her mother a divorce."
I just didn't buy it.
That was it for me. Hours of my life I can no longer retrieve.
By the way, I selected this because Amy Poehler states (on the cover, no less): "Intoxicating... I couldn't stop reading or caring about the juicy and dysfunctional Plumb family." I think she meant to say. "I wanted to get intoxicated so that I could stop reading about the jerky and dysfunctional Plumb family."
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 18, 2020
The Plumb family have always relied on the Nest – a fund set up by their wealthy father that means that when the youngest child turns 40 they can all have their inheritance. However, when one of the Plumb children gets caught in a compromising situation their mother pulls rank and uses the Nest to fund his recovery…much to the chagrin of the other siblings.
The Nest is a brilliant story of how the other half live and how the sense of privilege transcends down the family line. It is an interesting look at sibling relationships and the dynamics of family life. It also makes you asses what you hold dear or see as important. The Nest is a very good read.
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney is available now.
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat, funny and surprisingly emotional read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 17, 2017
If you like literary soap opera this is for you. It is a .novel about one quite well off but still struggling New York family who just about manage to keep afloat in the book and art world. Almost every paragraph contains a witty turn of phrase but the cynicism is kept in check by the author's real love for her characters, even the blackest sheep of the flock.
2.0 out of 5 starsCan't get past first few chapters, but probably my fault.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 21, 2017
I have to be honest and say that as a rule I don't like novels with characters I don't like. This book, so far, is full of people I find pretty repellant so I haven't engaged with it. As I also couldn't stand The Goldfinch I have to wonder if I'm just too soft for this type of literature.