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The Nest
Cover of The Nest
The Nest

A wickedly smart, funny and deeply felt debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of their long depended-upon family inheritance

On a wintry afternoon in New York City, Melody, Beatrice and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, who has just been released from rehab. Leo's bad behavior before entering rehab, culminating in a car crash while under the influence—a nineteen-year-old waitress beside him—has left the Plumbs' joint trust fund—"The Nest," as they've taken to calling it—endangered. All four siblings, at very different places in their lives, believe that this money will solve a host of self-inflicted problems and their consequences. And until Leo's accident, they'd been mere months away from receiving it.

Can Leo get the Plumbs out of this mess, as he's always been able to do for himself before? Or will the Plumb siblings have to do without the money and the future lives they've envisioned? As the siblings grapple with family tensions, old histories, and the significant emotional and financial cost of the accident, Sweeney introduces an unforgettable cast of supporting characters: Leo's stalwart ex-girlfriend who now thinks that maybe, just maybe, he is capable of change; the waitress whose life was shattered in the accident; the Iraqi war veteran who falls in love with her; and a retired, grieving firefighter with a very big secret.

Tender, funny and deftly written, The Nest explores what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of our lives, and the fraught but unbreakable ties we have with our families.

A wickedly smart, funny and deeply felt debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of their long depended-upon family inheritance

On a wintry afternoon in New York City, Melody, Beatrice and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, who has just been released from rehab. Leo's bad behavior before entering rehab, culminating in a car crash while under the influence—a nineteen-year-old waitress beside him—has left the Plumbs' joint trust fund—"The Nest," as they've taken to calling it—endangered. All four siblings, at very different places in their lives, believe that this money will solve a host of self-inflicted problems and their consequences. And until Leo's accident, they'd been mere months away from receiving it.

Can Leo get the Plumbs out of this mess, as he's always been able to do for himself before? Or will the Plumb siblings have to do without the money and the future lives they've envisioned? As the siblings grapple with family tensions, old histories, and the significant emotional and financial cost of the accident, Sweeney introduces an unforgettable cast of supporting characters: Leo's stalwart ex-girlfriend who now thinks that maybe, just maybe, he is capable of change; the waitress whose life was shattered in the accident; the Iraqi war veteran who falls in love with her; and a retired, grieving firefighter with a very big secret.

Tender, funny and deftly written, The Nest explores what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of our lives, and the fraught but unbreakable ties we have with our families.

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About the Author-
  • Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney is the New York Times bestselling author of The Nest, which has been translated into twenty-six languages and optioned for film by Amazon Studios. She has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 4, 2016
    As four middle-aged Plumb siblings—Leo, Beatrice, Jack, and Melody—await the distribution of the trust fund their father had established for them as just an extra dividend in what he assumed would be their financially comfortable lives, they find themselves in dire economic straits. Unfortunately, the Nest (as they call the trust fund) had been used to settle the medical bills for a young woman who was badly injured when an inebriated Leo crashed his Porsche while they were inside it and getting intimate. Already a sadly dysfunctional family, the siblings plan to confront Leo. In a clever touch that reveals their hopes and desperation, each secretly has a drink in a different Manhattan bar before they convene to hear Leo swear he will get his act together and pay back the money. That Leo can’t be trusted is evident to the reader right away, but his segue into a meaningful domestic relationship with a literary agent seems hopeful. Meanwhile, his siblings try to avoid other financial crises, brought on by their own irresponsible behavior. Jack can’t repay the loans he has kept secret from his husband; Melody won’t be able to meet the mortgage payments on her home or forthcoming college tuition for her twin daughters; Bea has been forced to return the advance on the second novel she cannot write. In her debut, Sweeney spins a fast-moving, often-humorous narrative, and her portrait of each sibling is compassionate even as she reveals their foibles with emotional clarity. She sets scenes among iconic Manhattan watering places, capturing the tempo of various neighborhoods. Her writing is assured, energetic, and adroitly plotted, sweeping the reader along through an engrossing narrative that endears readers to the Plumb family for their essential humanity. Agent: Henry Dunow, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner.

  • Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins The Nest ambles along so beautifully, what a pleasure to read! It's a wise, funny, compassionate family drama, full of irresistible surprises, witty conversations, and necessary emotional truths.
  • Kelly Oxford Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney has undoubtedly given us the best summer read of the year.
  • Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins "The Nest ambles along so beautifully, what a pleasure to read! It's a wise, funny, compassionate family drama, full of irresistible surprises, witty conversations, and necessary emotional truths."
  • Elizabeth Gilbert "A masterfully constructed, darkly comic, and immensely captivating tale...not only clever, but emotionally astute. Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney is a real talent."
  • Amy Poehler "In her intoxicating first novel, Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney has written an epic family story that unfolds in a deeply personal way. The Nest is a fast-moving train and Sweeney's writing dares us to keep up. I couldn't stop reading or caring about the juicy and dysfunctional Plumb family."
  • Matthew Thomas, author of We Are Not Ourselves "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...This book keeps its blade sharp and its heart open."
  • Bret Anthony Johnston "The Nest is a trenchant, darkly funny, and beautiful novel."
  • New York Times Book Review "Humor and delightful irony abound in this lively first novel."
  • Publishers Weekly In her debut, Sweeney spins a fast-moving, often-humorous narrative, and her portrait of each sibling is compassionate even as she reveals their foibles with emotional clarity...assured, energetic, and adroitly plotted...an engrossing narrative that endears readers to the Plumb family for their essential humanity."
  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "[A] generous, absorbing novel...Sweeney's endearing characters are quirky New Yorkers all... [a] lively novel. A fetching debut from an author who knows her city, its people, and their heart."
  • Cosmopolitan, Cosmo Reads "As siblings struggle with money woes, their humble inheritance turns into a full-blown cash cow. There's only one problem: the black sheep of the family."
  • Marie Claire "Nothing makes your dysfunctional clan look good like another's-meet the Plumb siblings, caught up in a trust fund battle, in Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney's The Nest."
  • Entertainment Weekly, 9 Books You Have to Read in March "In this hilarious family saga, a group of adult siblings find their futures uncertain when they realize the shared inheritance they've been counting on might have been drained by their reckless older brother."
  • New York magazine "A precise and deftly braided story...a breezier The Emperor's Children, by turns winsome, biting, and addictive."
  • Bustle, 15 of the Best Books of March 2016 "All it will take is a few pages of this book's strikingly hypnotic prologue, and you'll be sucked in... Better than reality TV, you won't be able to stop reading this until you've sucked out all the juicy drama."
  • BookPage, 9 Women to Watch in 2016 "Readers who devour quirky family dramas like Where'd You Go, Bernadette and Be Frank With Me won't want to miss this anticipated debut about a dysfunctional New York City family."
  • Refinery 29, 5 Brand-New Books to Read in March "Fans of dark comedy are sure to appreciate the twisted humor and compassion found in this novel, which explores the ever-binding relationship between brothers and sisters. The Nest is gripping family drama at its best."
  • B&N Reads, The Best New Fiction of the Month "The dynamics and foibles of family take center stage here, interweaving four characters' tumultuous journeys to paint a rich picture of domestic drama."
  • O, the Oprah Magazine "[A] closely observed, charming novel."
  • Washington Post "[S]cenes both witty and tragic... that glow with the confidence of an experienced comic...
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