I just finished the new release Nest by Esther Ehrlich. This book was…wow.
Published by Random House Children’s, the book is geared toward the middle grades. But I could easily see it as an adult book.
Nest is the story of Chirp and her family. A very loving family, close knit and happy, their world is rocked when Chirp’s mom receives some horrifying health news. The book deals with watching how the family deals with the news – or in some cases, how they don’t deal with it. It also shows the growing friendship between Chirp and the boys across the street, Joey – who has his own demons to deal with.
I did feel that the book did not explore enough of Chirp’s mom’s health condition or her mental state – it was shown, but I think it could have been shown in more detail. Nor do I think that we got enough depth when it comes to Joey’s family issues, either. I think those also could have been explored more.
But then again, this is a book geared to middle grade children, so perhaps when I look at it like that, it did go into enough detail. Maybe kids, even if they are in the tween/early teen stages, don’t need the kind of detail I felt I was missing out on.
Told in the first person, entirely from Chirp’s point of view, I do think we get an amazing insight not only into how a girl her age saw the world around her, but also into the people that surrounded her. We get a real dept to her sister, Rachel, and to Joey. We see her teacher the way we all saw our teachers – one dimensional – but that really makes sense, because it was from her perspective. I felt like her father could have been made a bit deeper, but maybe the distance that I felt was there was deliberate – maybe her father really was distant from them in that way.
This is a book that I think many adults would enjoy. As a book geared to middle grade kids, I would suggest that parents of children who are sensitive or less mature than others their age may want to read it first, as it does deal with some themes that they might not want their child to read (see spoiler at the end of this review).
If you’re looking for a good book that will give you a view into the world of a loving 1970s family dealing with the curve balls that life can throw at you, Nest is an excellent choice.
Buy the book:
*I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.
SPOILER: The book does deal with disabling disease and death, and hints strongly at child abuse and mental illnesses.)