Don’t be fooled by the wonderful description of this book! It’s supposedly an amazing debut novel about a dysfunctional family and the front cover has a blurb by Amy Poehler. It was even voted as the best book of 2016 and made it to the Goodreads finalist lists.
The book takes place in New York city and it’s about the Plumb family, four children who grew up in a fairly dysfunctional house and then made their way in the world. The Nest in the title is a large inheritance that the children are supposed to inherit when the youngest, Melody, hits her 40th birthday. But things go awry at the beginning of the book when the oldest son, Leo, ends up drunk driving with a nineteen year old waitress who is giving him a hand job, and causes a horrible accident. The money from the Nest is taken mostly to settle the damages from this accident.
The book really begins in a really interesting way, and when the characters are introduced, they all seem like they are going to be interesting. But then the follow-through of actually spending time with these characters, none of them really seems as interesting as they might have at first glance. Also they are poorly developed and their motivations rarely make sense. There is a lot of the problem where the author says that a character feels a certain way instead of showing it. Two of the siblings are stressed about money, which is a totally understandable and relate-able thing, but the way they go about doing things is stupid (almost criminally so). The book also has quite a few additional characters who interact with the main characters, though I don’t know why we need to get so many scenes in the heads of minor characters. It’s head-hopping narration at its finest.
I was ready in the middle of the book to just push through and hate-read this, but then I liked the ending. The characters that had really annoyed me through the book seemed to get their comeuppance in some ways, and things resolved nicely. So I’m torn in recommending this because I did feel like it was a slog, but in the end, was ultimately satisfying to read.