Leo Plumb, the golden boy, who at a young age achieved success with a publication that seems part Politico, part Newsweek, and part Gawker, only to sell it, becoming listless over a decade before the story begins. Bored and incredibly high at a wedding, he picks up a teenage waitress and in the midst of a handjob, wrecks his Porsche and with it, many lives. He leaves in his wake a young woman who must adjust to life without the use of both of her legs and his mother has to break her children’s trust to keep Leo out of the news and jail.
The Nest, by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, starts with the Plumb siblings realizing their trust fund is nearly depleted from the fallout of their eldest brother (Leo) doing his best impression of Charlie Sheen on a bender. With the date the fund is to be released, on the 40th birthday of the youngest, Melanie, fast approaching, the influx the siblings have been counting on to pay down debts and put children through college is now gone in the wind. Leo has the ability to replenish the fund, but instead seemingly chooses the promise of his own future over those of his brother and sisters.
No one exactly remembers when the family began calling the modest trust started by their patriarch “The Nest”, but their late father never meant for it to hit two million. The intention was a modest mid-life boost, not a life changing payout. Unfortunately, Melanie needs the money to cover her ballooning mortgage and college for her twin daughters. Jack, the younger brother, needs his share to cover a line of credit he took out on his husband’s country home. Bea, a literary has-been and the oldest sister doesn’t exactly need the money, she just wants to publish her second book and get Leo back in her life.
The Nest weaves the story of each Plumb sibling together and though none of them are exactly likable, apart from Bea, I really liked Bea, but you want them to succeed and realize the hurt they’re causing others in their lives. The character development was great, but the plot was predictable and the pacing left a lot to be desired. I ended up enjoying the sections about Melanie’s 16 year-old twin daughters the most. The Nest isn’t the best book I’ve read recently, but it’s far from the worse and is a good change of pace in my mystery and thriller rotation.