Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
The Nest

The Nest

This is that rare bird: a literary page-turner. In this wonderfully written, multi-layered, fast-moving novel, Sweeney tells the story of the dysfunctional Plumb family. When the eldest blows their collective inheritance (by crashing someone else's Porsche, while drunk and high, direly injuring the 19-year-old waitress who was not his wife), the four Plumb siblings are forced to actually communicate for the first time in ages. They're also forced to grow up, and watching that painful process unfold on the page is highly entertaining (and a little cringe-worthy). I loved this for its depth, complexity, and supremely satisfying ending, but if you need characters you can root for, this isn't the book for you. Strongly reminiscent of Rules of Civility. For what it's worth, Amy Poehler and Ellie Kemper loved it. Heads up for language and racy content: I'd like to give this novel an 8-line edit.

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Good Company: A Novel

Good Company: A Novel

A wistful novel about memory and the stories we tell ourselves, set in the world of the theater. When Flora finds her husband’s old wedding ring in the bottom of a file cabinet—the ring her husband told her he’d lost at the bottom of a lake—she knows something is horribly wrong. On the eve of her daughter’s high school graduation, Flora questions everything she thought she knew about her past. Interspersed with vivid flashbacks and reflective moments, Sweeney’s sophomore novel isn’t quite as plot-driven as her first, but I inhaled it. I love a reflective family drama, and this one set in the world of theater hooked me from the opening scene. Marin Ireland is now one of my go-to narrators; her voice struck just the right contemplative tone.

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