The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (October 4, 2016)
For fans of J. Courtney Sullivan, Meg Wolitzer, Claire Messud, and Emma Straub, a gorgeous and absorbing novel of a trio of confused souls struggling to find themselves and the way forward in their lives, set against the spectacular backdrop of contemporary New York City.
Set in the most magical parts of Manhattan—the Upper West Side, Central Park, Greenwich Village—The Ramblers explores the lives of three lost souls, bound together by friendship and family. During the course of one fateful Thanksgiving week, a time when emotions run high and being with family can be a mixed blessing, Rowley’s sharply defined characters explore the moments when decisions are deliberately made, choices accepted, and pasts reconciled.
Clio Marsh, whose bird-watching walks through Central Park are mentioned in New York Magazine, is taking her first tentative steps towards a relationship while also looking back to the secrets of her broken childhood. Her best friend, Smith Anderson, the seemingly-perfect daughter of one of New York’s wealthiest families, organizes the lives of others as her own has fallen apart. And Tate Pennington has returned to the city, heartbroken but determined to move ahead with his artistic dreams.
Rambling through the emotional chaos of their lives, this trio learns to let go of the past, to make room for the future and the uncertainty and promise that it holds. The Ramblers is a love letter to New York City—an accomplished, sumptuous novel about fate, loss, hope, birds, friendship, love, the wonders of the natural world and the mysteries of the human spirit.
I loved this book. It takes place in Manhattan during the week of Thanksgiving. It brought back a lot of memories because my family and I spent the week of Thanksgiving in NYC, and our hotel was in Manhattan. I wish I had known about the Ramble when I went to Central Park, I would have loved to have checked it out. It sounds like a great place to take a walk, birdwatch, or just sit and read or people watch.
I really enjoyed the three main characters, and Tate also. I loved how even though they all should have been confident in their lives, no one is immune to self doubt and confusion. I loved the relationship between Clio and Smith. Both could depend on the other unconditionally.
The book was full of emotions, the characters had real life problems and struggles and that made them seem “real”. I absolutely loved it. I’m sure I’ll pick it up in the future to give it a re-read.
I highly recommend this book!
About The Author
Born and raised in New York City, Aidan Donnelley Rowley is a graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, but her dream (long unconscious) was always to write. She is the author of a novel, Life After Yes; blogs at IvyLeagueInsecurities.com; contributes to The Huffington Post; and is the founder and curator of the popular Happier Hours Literary Salons. The middle of five sisters, she lives in New York with her husband and three young daughters.