I actually got this book free back in November using my accrued Plum Points at Chapters, which was very exciting. It took me until the end of term and after Christmas and such to read it, but then it took only a few days to read.
First off, I just have to gush about how gorgeous the cover is. I love the design, the colour palette, and the cursive writing. Everything I would want my book cover to be.
This book, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s fiction debut, is set in New York and spotlights the lives of four siblings and their financial situations. The title refers to the nest egg left to them by their late father that is to be turned over when the youngest sibling, Melody, turns 40. However, things begin to spiral out of control when the family learns that their mother has given away the vast majority of the money to deal with a “family emergency,” leaving them in fiscal turmoil and uncertainty.
As the rest of the guests wandered the deck of the beach club under an early-evening midsummer sky, taking pinched, appraising sips of their cocktails to gauge if the bartenders were using the top-shelf stuff and balancing tiny crab cakes on paper napkins while saying appropriate things about how they’d really lucked out with the weather because the humidity would be back tomorrow, or murmuring inappropriate things about the bride’s snug satin dress, wondering if the spilling cleavage was due to bad tailoring or poor taste (a look as their own daughters might say) or an unexpected weight gain, winking and making tired jokes about exchanging toasters for diapers, Leo Plumb left his cousin’s wedding with one of the waitresses.
What I Loved Most
I was skeptical about how the story would unfold when I realized the chapters were divided according to which sibling was narrating, but I found this offered greater insight into the past lives and choices of the siblings than would have been offered by a third person narration.
What I loved Least
No spoilers or anything, but I was slightly disappointed at the ending. I know it is far more realistic than any ending I would have been happy to read, but it almost seemed like the author wanted to get right to the end and skipped over a huge chunk of time in the process.
So the first time she and Leo combusted, she’d practically been poised for the breakup. In some inexplicable way, she’d been looking forward to it and all its attendant drama, because wasn’t there something nearly lovely–when you were young enough–about guts churning and tear ducts being put to glorious overuse? She recognized the undeniable satisfaction of the first emotional fissure because an unraveling was still something grown-up and, therefore, life affirming. See? The broken heart signalled. I loved enough to lose; I felt enough to weep. Because when you were young enough, the stakes of love were so very small, nearly insignificant. How tragic could a breakup be when it was part of the fabric of expectation from the beginning? The hackneyed fights, the late-night phone calls, the indignant recounting for friends over multiple drinks and in earshot of an appropriately flirtatious bartender–it was theatre for a certain type of person . . . Until it wasn’t (p. 274).
Closing Line [The last sentence, really, to avoid spoilers]
‘Up!’ She said again, as her family rushed towards her all at once, each of them hoping to get to her first.
This was such a great story, and I can see why it won so many awards, including Goodreads’ 2016 Choice Award for Fiction, and was named a Best Book of 2016 by a number of publications such as People, the Washington Post, and the San Fransisco Chronicle. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to curl up in front of the fireplace to avoid the dreary rainy weather with a good book.