Book Chat’s rating: ∗∗∗/5
I started this book when I had the ARC. I read through the first half pretty quickly and was hoping for some dramatic ending, but then I had to put the book down for a few days and realized I didn’t care much for what happened to these rich people and their problems. I didn’t completely forget about what I have read a few weeks earlier, which means the story somehow stay with you, but it with lack of interest, it also means the story isn’t that “intoxicating”, to quote Amy Poehler.
The Plumb family has four brothers (Leo and Jack) and sisters (Bea and Melody), they were promised by their deceased father a small fortune when the youngest reached her 40 birthday. At first, it wasn’t much, but as the years go by, the Nest has become a trust fund of 2 million dollars, which isn’t much for New Yorkers, but also not too little. The reason why it was set to release when they are all adults was because their father didn’t want them to become dependent of it, but it didn’t stop them from planning their lives as if it was dependent on in. Just a few months before the birthday, Leo got into an accident with a 19-year-old waitress from his cousin wedding, and his life and their lives went spiral down. The Nest was used to compensate the girl, and didn’t leave as much money for the brothers and sisters. They are now facing a hard life of only inheriting 50,000 dollars per person, which I may say, is still a fortune to many people. But that doesn’t help the Plumb brother and sisters: Jack needed the money to save his business and his husband’s vacation home (which he “pawn off” in secret for his business venture); Melody needed the money for her twins’ (private) college funds and the mortgage of a gorgeous brownstone that they bought with only her husband Walt’s income; Bea, well Bea didn’t really need the money but she could use some for some boring reason that I now forgot. With Leo promised to pay them back, the three of them continued to live their way. Along the stories, many side characters are introduced (in details): Stephanie-the-ex that still believes in Leo’ change; Paul the publishers who love Bea and was ditched by Leo; Tommy the firefighter who lost his wife in 911 and now in posses of a famous Rodin contraband from the tower; and even Mathilda the 19-year-old singer-wanna-be that was in the accident with Leo.
I like the (rushed, realistic but anticlimactic) ending. I can’t really say I enjoyed the whole book. Some parts seem hush hush to get through and some seem like it could be cut down because who cares… The writing is easy to read and get into but it’s also annoying with constant re-explaining of the situations using parentheses (like this), this also makes the narration of (and about) multiple characters sounded alike (which some people may think that it was well blended, whatever). It was funny but then it got boring pretty quick. It would have been more tolerable if all characters weren’t so insufferable. When I think of dysfunctional family, I think of one where the members are quirky, weird or in some dire situations because of their own stupidity, I didn’t think of dysfunctional as selfish, of which all of them are: Leo with his reckless living and affairs after affairs, Jack with his spiral spending and secrets, Melody with unrealistic expectation and even Bea, who was acting normal for a bit then she has to write a story about Leo’s affair. Perhaps the side characters Stephanie, Walt and Walker aren’t selfish but I also don’t know how they can put up with all these craps from their irresponsible spouse/partner.