Wednesday, June 15, 2016

THE NEST by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

Every dysfunctional family is different, and in this case, four siblings are awaiting the imminent release of their $2 million trust fund.  The oldest, Leo, who is simultaneously the talented star of the family and the black sheep, has run into a spot of trouble, seriously injuring his 19-year-old passenger in a car accident.  The family matriarch taps the trust fund for remunerations to the girl and for Leo’s stint in rehab.  This development is devastating to the other three, since the payout has now shrunk to a paltry $50,000 apiece.  Jack, unbeknownst to his husband, has secretly borrowed money on their summer home to keep his struggling business afloat.  Dubbed from childhood as “Leo Lite,” he is almost as despicable as his brother, without the substance abuse problems.  In his desperation to repay the loan, he tries to broker the sale of a stolen piece of art on the black market, compounding the ugly secrets he’s keeping from his partner. Melody wants to send her twin daughters to college, even though they have found a way to dodge her tracking of their cellphones so that they can skip out on their SAT tutoring sessions.  Bea, after a promising start to her literary career, has reached an impasse in the writing of her long-awaited first novel.  The crux of the matter and the question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Leo will turn over a new leaf and reimburse “The Nest.”  His track record is iffy, but he’s back with old girlfriend Stephanie, who shares with Bea my vote for most likeable character, despite her questionable taste in men.  Bea is a poignant character in many ways and makes the dubious decision to use her brother’s tragic mishap as fodder for her novel.   I enjoyed this book from start to finish, and I can’t complain about the ending, either, by which time I felt that I knew these characters inside and out.  They may not be people I’d want to hang out with, but certainly for the duration of this novel they provided some entertaining drama.  I’m just glad they’re not my family.

No comments: