In April I finished a book that is currently number 3 on the NY Times Best Seller list, The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. It’s the second time I have been surprised about this book. The other surprise was when my husband, who reads ~100 books a year but only about 5 that are fiction, commented when he saw what I was reading that he had just purchased it.
Why the surprise on both counts? It’s a good book, but I didn’t find it to be a GREAT book. Number 3 on the NY Times list seems out of synch with the reading experience I had. In terms of my husband’s comment, our taste seldom overlaps. He typically only purchases and reads fiction that captures the zeitgeist – stuff that anyone who is anyone is reading. Again, The Nest was not that kind of book for me.
The Publisher’s Summary says, “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.” Being from a big, Irish-Catholic family, I think it was what drew me to the book. And, admittedly, I did see the roles various family members play in mine replicated in this story of the New York Plumbs. The NYC setting for me was also a plus – I liked knowing the sometimes arcane NY location references.
If you like complex family stories, you will likely enjoy it. If you are looking for some relatively light summer reading, this will make a good beach read. Goldfinch it is not. Girl on the Train it is not. If there is something clever about the book it is the notion of what The Nest is. And for that, you’ll have to read the book.
Full disclosure, I read a library copy of The Nest. At zero cost, I more than got my money’s worth.