I don't know who coined the phrase, "Don't judge a book by its cover" but I looked it up and after a quick search (Wikipedia) found that the idiom dates back to 1860. So for over 150 years people have been taking this advice and I am here to stop that nonsense. You should absolutely always judge a book by its cover. How else are you supposed to pick a book from thousands staring at you on the shelf?
This beautiful book screamed my name across the Barnes & Noble with its pretty blue jacket and gilded botanical crest. I had never heard of the author but it was adorable and had words of praise by Amy Poehler on the front, so how could I say no? Luckily, this foolproof method of choosing the most attractive book in the store has yet to disappoint me.
The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney is set in New York City and focuses on the lives of four adult siblings expecting to inherit a large sum of money from their family estate. The Plumb siblings lovingly refer to this inheritance as "The Nest" and of course they soon learn that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush (Sorry. Perfect bird/nest reference. Had to.)
The story follows Leo, the oldest, a charming and handsome middle-aged screw up, who is kinda-sorta trying to get his life back together. Bea, a washed-up author who despite a dip in career path and some serious writer's block, seems to be the most "with it" of the four. Jack, a struggling antique dealer who is constantly lying to his husband, Walker, about his financial burdens. And Melody, the youngest of the four, a suburban housewife who is hoping to use the Nest for her twin daughter's pricey college tuition.
The Plumbs lackluster childhood set them each on different paths, and while they all live within an hour of New York City, the rarely see or even speak to each other. Because of Leo's numerous mistakes, the large sum they were expecting from their inheritance has dwindled down to next to nothing. They are literally paying for the sins of their brother while trying to figure out a way to resolve their own problems. The Nest has its way of bringing them together even if it may eventually rip them apart.
What I liked: Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney has a knack for exploring the depths of each character and revealing their innermost thoughts and desires in a visceral and real way. The way the novel switches from one perspective to the other really kept me interested until the end. I found the writing itself to be wonderful and I always love a book set in New York City.
What I could live without: While the novel started with a bang and really grabbed my attention, the pace of the book was not a "page turner" in my opinion. It took me a solid two weeks of falling asleep to this book to finally finish it.
The bottom line: The Nest is funny, real, charming and will make you appreciate your own dysfunctional family!