Family Drama and Inheritance in "The Nest"

The Fiction Addiction
The Nest(cover art from the publisher)

In The Nest, the four Plumb siblings have been left a trust fund from their father, which will come due when Melody, the youngest sibling, turns 40. The money is in the millions, but naturally the siblings have already mentally spent their shares. Melody, an overprotective mother and a Manhattan-hater in a MetroNorth suburb, is relying on The Nest to pay for her twin daughters’ college tuition. Jack is counting on The Nest to keep his failing antiques store open, pay off the the secret mortgage on his weekend home, and keep his husband from realizing just how bad Jack’s finances have gotten.

Bea Plumb is a Manhattan writer in a Manhattan novel, wandering around drinking and half-heartedly writing. After early success in a series of short stories and sketches based on Leo’s youthful adventures, she’s been unable to finish her promised sequel for years and has been dropped by her publisher. While she isn’t quite under the strain of her brother and sister, she could use her inheritance, too.

But it’s Leo who’s already gotten most of their Nest. Their mother, the executor (I think that’s what it’s called? I don’t exactly know how trusts work), has dipped into the fund to bail Leo out of his latest trouble. Although the siblings aren’t particularly close, they’re all are unsurprised that their brother would leave his wife at a party and sneak off with a teenage waitress, then drunkenly crash the car, permanently disabling his unfortunate passenger, and resulting in a lawsuit, a divorce, rehab, and medical bills. Leo promises his siblings that with a little time he can pay them all back, only, he doesn’t seem to have any source of income…

This is a sharply observed novel that follows different threads through the Plumb family.  One moving thread through the story is about children who didn’t grow up with a lot of emotional stability and support, and who consciously decide to try be better, even if that just means being slightly less dysfunctional than yesterday.

Perfect for fans of The Heirs and The Latecomer.

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