Underground Nest Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
From childhood Zach pursued this ideal, collecting each piece of his life like so many Scout badges. Scouting and the high standards it demands are central to his image. He was the youngest scout to attain his Eagle Scout award, and after holding it without blemish for 25 years, he was entitled to the highest accolade of all: the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. He had his perfect wife, family, home, career and recognition. He even had a slew of meaningless secret affairs to add some spice to life. Zack was a man poised to own the world. And then a crack appeared.
Zach is not an easy man to like, but he is easy enough to understand. The plotting of his rise is all quite straightforward, and is detailed in the first third of the book. He is not unusual in his drive to succeed; we have all known and worked with people like Zach. He is not a bad man, and Kathleen Maher paints him with a sympathetic hand. She understands her character well, and his inevitable downfall and struggle to rebuild his life makes engrossing reading.
Zach's wife, Beth, plays the perfect host for her husband's deceptions and self-deceptions. She is not a weak woman, but is certainly the product of her world. She is a devoted mother and supportive and understanding wife.Read more ›
In this tale we follow Zach, an energetic, ambitious social-climber with an expanding waistline, as he blasts his way through marriage, extra-marital affairs, boy scout meetings, and business appointments alike. Over the 20+ years of this storyline, Zach's life is filled with triumphs and tragedies, thrills and thumps.
It's a difficult task, of course, for a writer to engage the reader so easily. And it's an even MORE difficult task indeed to plug the reader into your story when your narrative involves a deeply flawed and (some might even say) repugnant main character. Ms. Maher accomplishes this brilliantly.
This is a story that feels authentic from the start, and maintains that authenticity to its watery end. It's a fun ride along the way, and a quick, emotionally-engaging read.
Not surprisingly, the "underground nest" of the title tells us that just beneath the surface, a nest of hornets await. Zach Severins is the dad, and beneath his perfect surface is an obsession with himself and what others think of him, a tendency to find sex outside of his marriage, and eventually a long-term relationship with a woman who moves in the top circles of Washington D.C.
Eventually, the surface collapses and we watch as Zach's perfect life is exposed for the lie it is. To avoid giving away too much of the plot, suffice it say that everything unravels. The result is that Zach is forced to reexamine himself and given the chance to redeem his life. The novel ends before we see if a promising beginning is followed through, but I'm not convinced that two years down the road, he would not be in a similar situation.
The story is interesting and Maher moves the plot along quickly and deftly. Where it suffers is in the characters, a group of somewhat two-dimensional people who must have more going on than what we see. As a result, the reader is often surprised at what is happening. After they separate, Zach and his wife, Beth, have an ongoing "angry sex" routine, but from we know of Beth, this seems out of character. Even the children seem to move in and out of anger faster than the normal teenager who finds out their dad has been having an affair.Read more ›
This is a read that develops a gripping need to know what steps he takes next, just to see if he finds the light and sense to apologize and make amends or continue on the path of self-destruction. While Zach is the main character, he is developed with a facile hand with no judgment or justifications, his misdeeds and insecurities lay out clearly and evenly. Honestly, I had near visceral reactions to his smarmy aura and calculated interactions; they were so well defined and described by the author. He was not completely without redemption however, and those small moments of neediness laced with the honesty of his unguarded reactions did help to improve the overall impression when the story ended.
This is a completely different take on the adultery story that we are commonly used to reading: from the point of view and voice being the perpetrator rather than the cheated on spouse, his insecurities and justifications, and even his arrogance all provide an interesting perspective. This is no story of a mea culpa, even as the world as he knows it comes crumbling down and perhaps that is what makes it feel more pertinent and applicable to the real world situations that many might face.
I received an eBook copy from the author with request for honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While I understand this being told by the man himself about his life, I was left unsatisfied with the ending. But I guess that's life we don't know how our life ends.Published 4 days ago by Sheila Sharp
This evaluation is posted on behalf of Julia Petrakis, manager of the now defunct IndiePENdents.
The IndiePENdents ran from December 2011 until February 2016. Read more
The story is a character study of Zach Severins. The author follows her character's adulthood as he marries, has children, and builds a successful career in academia. Read morePublished on September 2, 2013 by Pete Barber (Author)
Don't let the page count fool you, this book packs a punch in only 82 pages. A lot happens in a few short pages. Read more
I enjoyed this novella. At first, I didn't like the main characters--Zach Severins is a rather arrogant ex-Boy Scout: precise, rather intolerant, a bit narrow-minded,... Read morePublished on October 11, 2012 by Beeshon
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