Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Nest

The Nest

3.0 46
by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

See All Formats & Editions

Instant New York Times Bestseller

“Hilarious and big-hearted, The Nest is a stellar debut.” — People, Book of the Week

“Her writing is like really good dark chocolate: sharper and more bittersweet than the cheap stuff, but also too delicious not to finish in one sitting.”— Entertainment


Instant New York Times Bestseller

“Hilarious and big-hearted, The Nest is a stellar debut.” — People, Book of the Week

“Her writing is like really good dark chocolate: sharper and more bittersweet than the cheap stuff, but also too delicious not to finish in one sitting.”— Entertainment Weekly

“Humor and delightful irony abound in this lively first novel.”— New York Times Book Review

A warm, funny and acutely perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs' joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the futures they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.

This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love.

Editorial Reviews

B&N Reads
The irresistible story of a New York family whose four adult siblings are still struggling to grow up (as they await a watershed inheritance that may never materialize), The Nest is filled with humor, warmth, and dishy behind-the-scenes gossip on the machinations of the publishing world, a trifecta that makes it nearly impossible to put down. An insightful, beautifully drawn portrait of a family on the brink of crisis, The Nest also perfectly captures the legendary (if sometimes elusive) charm of New York City. Read More
The New York Times Book Review - Patricia Park
This story of first-world problems proves to be an enjoyable comedy of manners as Sweeney artfully skewers family dynamics, the publishing world and New York society at large…[A] lively first novel.
Publishers Weekly
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. (Mar.)
Huffington Post
“In prose that employs a variety of British dialects, Broun composes a story that’s engaging not only for its strange plot, but for its inventive use of language, too.”
Entertainment Weekly
“Her writing is like really good dark chocolate: sharper and more bittersweet than the cheap stuff, but also too delicious not to finish in one sitting.”
New York Times
“Sweeney writes like a pro.”
Washington Post
“[S]cenes both witty and tragic... that glow with the confidence of an experienced comic writer... [Sweeney] maintains a refreshing balance of tenderness. Rather than skewering the Plumbs to death, she pokes them, as though probing to find the humanity beneath their cynical crust.”
Los Angeles Times
The Nest is an addictive, poignant read with an enticing premise.”
This dysfunctional family novel, arriving in March, has best-seller potential written all over it. Scenes in The Nest, which follows four adult siblings and the inheritance shared between them, play out cinematically... certainly every bit as entertaining as a movie, too, and impossibly witty to boot.
San Francisco Chronicle
“[I]mmensely enjoyable...The Nest is like a love letter to old New York, with scores of lush details that root the story in time and place.”
New York Times Book Review
“Humor and delightful irony abound in this lively first novel.”
Seattle Times
“[A]promising start for this writer.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“[A] smartly executed tale of two brothers and two sisters in New York City who are trying hard to ruin what could have been comfortable lives.”
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.”
“It’s rare to find a novel as guiltily entertaining as it is profound, but The Nest, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s engrossing debut, is one such book.”
Booklist (starred review)
“D’Aprix gives each of the characters a distinct and true personality, and she has a flair for realistic and funny dialogue-readers will feel as though they’re sitting right next to the clan as they bicker and barter. Fans of Jonathan Tropper will adore D’Aprix’s debut.”
Paste Magazine
“Sweeney’s family saga balances not only comedy and tragedy, but scandal and achievement, trust and betrayal, belonging and isolation and the complex nature of a family’s love, both at its harshest and most tender.”
More magazine
“Few things are more compelling than looking into the interiors of other people’s lives-and finding a truth or two about our own. In Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s wickedly funny novel THE NEST, four midlife siblings squabble over their inheritance; universal questions about love, trust, ambition, and rivalry roil.”
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
“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.”
Jami Attenberg
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.”
Bret Anthony Johnston
The Nest is a trenchant, darkly funny, and beautiful novel.”
O: the Oprah Magazine
“[A] closely observed, charming novel.”
Refinery 29
“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.”
A compulsively readable novel that will keep you thinking about how expectations can shape our lives, and what happens when we can no longer rely on them.”
Largehearted and witty, The Nest is a tender portrait of a family who must face their past choices and the consequences of their expected inheritance on their relationships and one another.”
“Frequently funny, sometimes sad and highly relatable for anyone with a sibling or three, The Nest is a breeze to read and hugely entertaining.”
Book of the Week People
“Hilarious and big-hearted, The Nest is a stellar debut.”
Cosmo Reads Cosmopolitan
“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.”
New York magazine / Vulture
a precise and deftly braided story...a breezier The Emperor’s Children, by turns winsome, biting, and addictive.”
15 of the Best Books of March 2016 Bustle
“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.”
9 Women to Watch in 2016 BookPage
“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.”
8 Buzzy New Books to Read During Spring Break InStyle
“Fans of Salinger’s fictional Glass family will take to the Plumbs: Four wealthy Manhattan-born-and-bred siblings whose inheritance (aka “The Nest”) is threatened when one of them gets in a drunk driving accident and subsequently checks into rehab.”
19 Incredible New Books You Need To Read This Spri Buzzfeed
“A witty, tender portrait of a very peculiar family, The Nest is a testament to the consequences of our past choices and the ways in which expected inheritance can intimately change relationships.”
The Skimm Reads
“It’s funny and it’s deep. And you’ll hate-love them all.”
12 Spring Break Reads To Help You Escape Normal Li Bustle
The Nest is all about families, how we let each other down, and more importantly, how we raise each other up.”
Library Journal
This anticipated debut novel from Sweeney typifies the Internet meme "white people problems" even more than most current New York City-based literary fiction. It concerns the Plumb siblings, four middle-class New Yorkers, and their upcoming inheritance. The Plumb patriarch set aside a sum to become available to the four of them when the youngest, Melody, turned 40, in order to teach them a lesson about independence. The story opens with Leo Plumb high on cocaine and getting into a car wreck as he seduces a 19-year-old waitress, a scandal that puts the now hefty inheritance at risk. The story moves along briskly, shifting perspectives between the Plumbs and those associated with them. There is Melody, the youngest, and her teenage daughter's sexual awakening; Jack, an antique dealer, and his secret husband; Leo and publisher girlfriend Stephanie, who owns a brownstone in Brooklyn and rents the lower floor to a man who lost his wife in 9/11; and finally, Bea, the failed novelist. These stories are seamlessly combined as predictable tragedies and triumphs befall everyone. VERDICT Anyone with siblings will appreciate the character dynamics at play here, although they may not care much for each character individually. A fun, quick read recommended for fans of Emma Straub and Meg Wolitzer. [See Prepub Alert, 9/28/15.]—Kate Gray, Boston P.L., MA
School Library Journal
The four Plumb siblings are waiting for their inheritance (affectionately called the nest) to be dispersed once the youngest sister turns 40. The nest has been growing exponentially since their father's untimely death when they were all adolescents, and each one of the Plumbs has been making poor financial decisions in the hopes of being bailed out by the nest. Instead, the oldest brother is allowed to withdraw the majority of the money early to be used as a payoff for an unfortunate accident he causes. The story develops as the remaining siblings begin to navigate life and the consequences of their decisions without a safety net, but the plot is much more complex than a look at four dysfunctional and often selfish siblings. Teens will initially be pulled into the story by the shocking events in the prologue, but they will connect with the siblings as they recognize aspects of themselves in each of them. The epilogue goes beyond a typical happy ending, illustrating how the siblings have changed and learned more about themselves. YA readers will enjoy immersing themselves in the trendy side of life in New York, as well as coming to understand how adult life may not be all it seems on a well-crafted surface. VERDICT A strong choice for demonstrating how adulthood is as much of a discovering process as adolescence. Purchase where coming-of-age tales are needed.—April Sanders, Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2015-12-23
Dysfunctional siblings in New York wig out when the eldest blows their shared inheritance. In an arresting prologue to this generous, absorbing novel, Leo Plumb leaves his cousin's wedding early, drunk and high, with one of the waitresses and has a car accident whose exact consequences are withheld for quite some time. To make his troubles go away, Leo pillages a $2 million account known as "The Nest," left by his father for the four children to share after the youngest of them turns 40, though in a sweet running joke, everyone keeps forgetting exactly when that is. Leo's siblings have been counting heavily on this money to resolve their financial troubles and are horrified to learn that their mother has let Leo burn almost all of it. A meeting is called at Grand Central Oyster Bar—one of many sharply observed New York settings—to discuss Leo's plans to pay them back. Will Leo even show? Three days out of rehab, he barely makes it through Central Park. But he does appear and promises to make good, and despite his history of unreliability, the others remain enough under the spell of their charismatic brother to fall for it. The rest of the book is a wise, affectionate study of how expectations play out in our lives—not just financial ones, but those that control our closest relationships. Sweeney's endearing characters are quirky New Yorkers all: Bea Plumb is a widowed writer who tanked after three stories that made her briefly one of "New York's Newest Voices: Who You Should Be Reading." Jack Plumb, known as "Leo Lite" in high school to his vast irritation, is a gay antiques dealer married to a lawyer; truly desperate for cash, he becomes involved in a shady deal involving a work of art stolen from the ruins of the World Trade Center. Melody, the youngest, lives in the suburbs in a house she's about to lose and is obsessed with tracking her teenage twins using an app called Stalkerville. The insouciance with which they thwart her is another metaphor for the theme of this lively novel. A fetching debut from an author who knows her city, its people, and their hearts.
the Oprah Magazine O
“[A] closely observed, charming novel.”
The Skimm
“When the playboy older brother of a grown fam lands himself in rehab, he puts the group trust fund at risk. Cue his dysfunctional siblings scheming to get it all back. You’ll hate-love them all.”
Real Simple
“Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s characters...come to life on the page. Fans of dark humor will get a kick out of this family drama.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children. She has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Nest 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book. Not great. I wouldn't recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kind of like pulling teeth...just boring. Took way too long to read because it couldn't hold my attention. Certain parts of the plot could easily be furthur developed into their own meaningful novels, however thrown together in one book lacked depth or great interest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found the book was very easy to read and it kept my interest. The story was interesting and easy to follow along with each characters story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Plot felt contrived, sad to say. Nothing very surprising here. Wanted to like it but found it more shallow than I expected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So many good reviews and ads for this book everywhere. I was expecting a better story, but was disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was an fairly interesting read and kept me hooked for most of the book. But I expected a better ending---no closure at all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too hard to follow. Had good sections that could have made a great story, but just couldn't keep my attention.
toniFMAMTC 8 months ago
The description of this book includes the word funny which I didn't find. Really it's just a life story. Siblings are supposed to inherit a bunch of money. One has drug and legal fees that affect them all. Then the story reveals over time how they're all pretty flawed and how everyone is going to be okay in the end. All of the characters are struggling with some kind of issue. There are problems in jobs, money, attitudes and every area. The siblings are the causes of their own unhappiness and have some growing up to do. The family has it's dysfunction, lows and highs. I wasn't crazy about any of the siblings, but they seemed to have likable romantic partners and offspring for the most part. Overall, I liked it, but didn't love it. Reading this book didn't inspire any major feelings in me, but I can see how it would make an interesting tv show.
Anonymous 11 months ago
This is one of the most depressing novels I've ever read. I had a hard time getting into it and the characters make you want to run out and hug your family, flaws and all, because none of them could be as bad as these characters. I would NOT recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book but not as interesting as I had hoped.
Mollydog8 More than 1 year ago
I feel compelled to finish reading this thing because I paid good money for it, but it isn't easy. All the skipping around plus way too many (irrelevant) characters makes this very hard to follow, and I lost interest at the second chapter. Save your money, unless you are an insomniac and need a good sleep aid.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Skip this one.
Anonymous 7 days ago
Anonymous 8 days ago
No Spoilers in this review . I wouldn't recommend this book and I am very surprised people are giving it 5 stars. This book was boring and I struggled through every chapter. Even the ending was a disappointment. The only thing I liked about the book was the cover which is why I gave it 2 stars instead of 1. I will not be rereading and will be giving it to my sister for display on her coffee table (she loves the cover).
birdie80 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. The right amount of humor. mystery, cliffhangers, and very well written. I read a lot and this book is worth your time. Enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
so boring...did not hold my attention at all
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing read! Sweeney is a beautiful writer who delves deep into each of her fascinating, troubled characters. A true literary novel. Highly recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fun, quick read.
Barce23 More than 1 year ago
I thought this was an excellent read. In my opinion the flow of the story kept the reader engaged but, never lingered too long on any one character as to make it feel tedious or overdone. The pacing was great, I loved the vivid detail presented about each of the characters lives, the exploration of the family dysfunction and their evolution as people and intertwined friends and family and the exploration of motivations, fears, worries and the manner in which we all carry ourselves as people. There were many moments that I could relate to and many moments where I felt like I was right in the middle of the scene. I really enjoyed it and hope to see more Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney in the near future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read review before purchasing saying they thought it was boring. I should have listened. I thought it was beyond boring. I was never interested in the characters despite the writer spending a lot of time giving them a 3-dimensional view of each one. I praise her for that and believe she is a great writer, but the story was not interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awful! I should have read the reviews before I got it. So bad.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awful! I should have read the reviews before I got it. So bad.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would not recommend this book....plot was not interesting or easy to read...very boring and not sure why it's getting all the publicity.