RCM Book Club: The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Here at RCM, we love books. We also love any opportunity participate in an awesome book club. So we decided to smoosh the two together and create the virtual Rocket City Mom Book Club! More info about our next title is below, and you can request to join the conversation here. Happy reading!

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney has been recommended as the next book to read by various members of the RCM book club over and over again. And the book, with its uniquely beautiful rose-gold embossed cover, has been calling to me for over two years as I walked up and down various bookstore aisles! It has been on every must-read list that I could find. It was named best book of 2016 by NPR, Amazon, People, the Washington Post, was a finalist on Goodreads and a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers’ Pick. Amy Poehler and Elizabeth Gilbert have sung its praises. It was on the New York Times bestseller lists for 11 weeks.

Needless to say, my expectations were through the roof!

(SPOILERS AHEAD!)


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(I REALY MEAN IT…)

Our Book Correspondent Discovers What All the Fuss Has Been About

If you, like me, are one of the few that is unfamiliar with the premise, here it is. The story centers around four estranged siblings who can’t wait to get their hands on “the nest”, a financial inheritance set up by their father, to solve their various woes. However, it’s all put in jeopardy when Leo, the black sheep of the family, winds up having a driving accident with a teenage waitress in tow.

So, here are my thoughts…

Too Many Great Characters?

Sweeney is brilliant in creating characters in brief scenes that you quickly become attached to and care about deeply. Or do not care about one iota. I despised Leo! However, there were a lot of those characters. So many that, at times, I forgot who was who and had to stop a moment to go back and refresh my memory. I was a third of the way through the book and more characters were being added which had me wondering where this story was going?


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Interesting Story

The Nest was interesting enough that I finished it long before I intended, practically in one sitting. Yet, I don’t know if I read it because I enjoyed the story or because I wanted to find out what happened. Does that alone make a good book? I tend to like to have happy endings when I finish reading a book and I can’t say that I felt satisfied at the end. It was more bittersweet, which is maybe what Sweeney intended.

Authentic Portraits of Motherhood

The book is fantastic in its authentic portrayal of motherhood, from the beginning (pregnancy), through the years (kids about to go to college) and unto the next stage (interacting with grown children). I always admire writers that can articulate feelings -especially about mommydom – that I struggle to put into words. {Francie had] been overwhelmed to the point of being listless… I know that feeling! And Melody’s anxiety was particularly affecting. Who among us doesn’t worry, sometimes to the point of neurosis, about our kids? If only for this reason alone, The Nest is a great read for a mom and very appropriate for a book club of moms.


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Inspiring Back Story

I enjoy and appreciate a book more when I know the backstory and know something about the author. I have always been fascinated by the behind the scenes and love knowing how authors write books. Researching Sweeney and her journey to this debut novel (did you know that she got seven figures for it?) at the age of 55 was particularly inspiring. It’s not too late for any of us aspiring authors! It made me appreciate and like the book even more after reading.

Ultimately, I did enjoy The Nest and am relieved that I now know what all the fuss was about.

The Nest Reading & Discussion Guide

So, what did you think? Let me know in the comments and join us on Thursday, January 31st at 8:30 PM on the RCM Book Club Facebook Page to discuss. Everyone who participates will be eligible to win a gift card for the next book. See you (virtually) there!

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