Happy Bookers Discussion Group

The Happy Bookers is Phillipsburg Library’s monthly book discussion group.  We meet on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m.  Newcomers are always welcome, and no registration is necessary.  Call the library at 908-454-3712 for more information.

Next Meeting:
Wednesday, February 22 at 7:00 p.m.

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

If you think your family is dysfunctional, move over, because here come the Plumbs. Suddenly faced with the dismantling of the nest egg they’ve counted on to solve their financial woes, the four Plumb siblings have to grow up, and fast. But though they all do some terrible things in the name of ambition, there’s something lovable about the Plumbs. You can’t fail to be moved by the beating heart of this novel, which seems to say that family, for good or ill, unites us all. “Sweeney’s writing is assured, energetic, and adroitly plotted, sweeping the reader along through an engrossing narrative that endears readers to the Plumb family for their essential humanity.” (Publisher’s Weekly)

Discussion Questions

  • Each Plumb sibling keeps secrets — not just from one another, but from the important people in their lives — their partners, their children, their parents, their friends. Did you find that there were secrets that should have been revealed earlier in the story? Did you find that more secrets were kept for selfless or selfish reasons?
  • Most of the novel takes place in and around New York City — the Plumb family grew up on Long Island, and three of the four Plumb siblings made Manhattan their home. A 9/11 subplot also weaves its way throughout the novel. What makes — or doesn’t make — this novel feel like a New York novel to you? Did it bolster or contradict any of your opinions or beliefs about New York City?
  • Each sibling seems to feel that they are the ones who need the money from the Nest the most. Did you find yourself leaning toward the pleas or the argument of one sibling in particular, and if so, who, and why?
  • Leo and Stephanie’s romance shifts in significant ways over the course of the novel. In what ways does their relationship change, and in what ways is it affected by the opinions and decisions made by the rest of the family?


Upcoming Selections

  • The Lady in Gold by Anne-Marie O’Connor
  • The Martian by Andy Weir
  • Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas
  • Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance

Suggest a book for discussion

Can’t make the meeting? Visit our Happy Bookers Group on Goodreads and add your thoughts there!