She believed in second chances, sometimes more than first chances, which were wasted on youth and indescretion.
Author: Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
Goodreads Summary: 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 future 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, 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.
First, let’s start by talking about this cover. I know, I know, don’t judge a book by its cover. I swear I didn’t, but it’s pretty, right? This book has been on my TBR for a few months now and I finally borrowed it from the library. I think it came to my attention because someone famous recommended it, but I can’t, for the life of me, remember who that person was. No matter the reason, I read it. And it was good.
I always seem to run into a problem when I read a book that has been SERIOUSLY talked up. This book is everywhere. The front of the bookstores, blogs, you name it. When a book is that popular, it’s hard to not pick it up thinking that it’s going to be the best thing you’ve read in a while. However, I feel like every time I read those really raved about books, I’m disappointed. It’s not really the book’s fault, but it is how I feel.
All in all, I give it 3 stars.
Some things I loved:
- The writing. Absolutely beautiful. It is definitely the strongest point of the book. The writing made the book come alive. I visited the natural history museum with the girls, I saw the transformation of Melody’s home, I watched Tommy clean the rubble of the twin towers after they fell. I felt the fear of these characters, the angst. The writing was some of the best I have encountered in a long time.
[…] he woke as the morning light slowly shifted from black to the watery blue of winter.
- The plot. I find myself easily intrigued by “old families” in New England and the entitled attitudes of people that arise from those lifestyles. I thought that this book did a really great job portraying this world that so many people are separated from.
- The emotions. Some books leave you crying on the bedroom floor unable to handle what just happened (not pointing fingers, but thanks, John Green). This one wasn’t like that, it didn’t emotionally devastate me, but it was real and raw and I felt it. (Does that make sense?)
Some things I didn’t love:
- The characters. Although they were beautifully written and I could picture them in my mind as if I was standing across the street from them, I just didn’t like them. They were shallow. Greedy. Rude. Intitled. And I just did not like them. Not even one.
- The ending appeared out of nowhere. I realized, as my kindle showed that I had only 8% left to read, there wasn’t going to be a great finale. It just stopped. I suppose that’s how life goes, often there isn’t a conclusion, but the ending really didn’t fit the book.
She wished she knew what a mimic thrush mimicked and whether titmice ate mice. She supposed she could Google it, but she preferred to wonder.
This is a favorably written book and a quick read for anyone looking for a good novel. It has all the aspects of a satisfying book: family drama, money, mystery, but it just didn’t quite hit all the right cords for me to truly love it. I was a huge fan of the writing and how real this book was to me, but I despised the shallow characters and how anticlimactic the book ended up being. Despite my rating, I would recommend this book to readers of novels, people who liked The Vacationers, and my mother. It’s truly an insightful read and gives the reader a wider view of the world.
She was so much better at being alone; being alone came more naturally to her. She led a life of deliberate solitude, and if occasional loneliness crept in s, she knew how to work her way out of that particular divot. Or even better, how to sink in and absorb its particular comforts.
Let’s talk! Have you read this book? Do you agree or disagree with my opinion? Is this novel on your TBR?