The Nest has been heavily promoted and I expected a book that would be a race to the end, a book that would be difficult to put down and a book that would leave me encouraging others to read it. This debut novel is the story of the dysfunctional Plumb family, waiting until their youngest sister turns 40 years of age to collect an inheritance which had been affectionately called “the nest”. Due to all of the hype, I was expecting fireworks and a depth that just was not present in this book.
The nest is decimated after Leo, the oldest brother, takes a drug induced drive with a young cocktail waitress leaving him in rehab, divorced and homeless while the waitress ends up missing one foot. Their mother dedicated the majority of the nest to pay off this girl impacting the other 3 siblings who were depending on their pending inheritance to pay off debt, pay for college and subsidize living standards.
The novel alternates between the voice of each sibling, two nieces, Leo’s one time girlfriend and Leo himself. Each character is dealing with their own issues and despite lies and challenging past history the family does become closer after dealing with the aftermath of the accident and the small nest that remained. The large number of characters is confusing at times causing the reader to flip back to remind yourself of the relationships between the characters.
I had read this novel, looking for a lighter read after The High Mountains of Portugal and completing the Canada Reads novels. It was a bit slow at first yet was entertaining yet not a book that I would read again. The storyline could have been strengthened with a fully developed and smaller cast of characters. It was an added bonus that the story ended with an epilogue which provided a lens to look at this family both a year into the future and again many years into the future providing closure for the reader.