The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney: A Review of Rich People Problems


Honestly, I love this kind of book. I know that I shouldn’t, and that I should have more to say about the problematic rich-people-problems it perpetuates, but really, this book is just about everything you’d want in a “summer read”. It’s light but not without substance; serious while also funny, and has just enough of a mix of “ oh God, I’m glad that’s not me” and “God I wish I had these problems!”.

The Plumb family is an eccentric clan, made up of a wisely-investing father and a distant, cold mother. The children are Leo, a notorious playboy, Bea, a once-successful and now down-on-her-luck writer, Jack, who is in a (probably?) happy relationship with Walker, and Melody, a perpetual housewife who is never happier than when stalking her teenage daughters through an app that keeps track of their whereabouts. The four have a tenuous relationship that centers around the Nest-  their slang name for the wildly and unexpectedly successful trust fund that their father set up for them years ago. The catch is that it can’t be touched by any of them until the youngest, Melody, turns 40. Against their thrifty father’s warning, each of them has counted their chickens before they’ve hatched, relying on the money to come through.

Until it doesn’t.

Leo is perpetually and notoriously a bad-boy womanizer and it’s these traits that cause him to get drunk and drive with a 19-year-old cocktail waitress in the passenger seat. Needless to say, things don’t quite work out. And the only thing that can help him? The Nest.

The characters are flawed, and not always likable, but personally that’s something I enjoy in books. I have a hard time with too-perfect characters in books; so this story did it for me. Leo is the center of everyone’s universe, whether they like it or admit it, or not, and each of them has their own way of working through realizing that things may not work out the way they’d planned and relied on. Rich-people characters aside, that’s something that everyone can relate to on some level. And even if you can’t, it’s pure escapism with a little bit of substance, and what more could you want to sit by the pool with?