17 October 2016

The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley

About the Book
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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.

Aidan Donnelley Rowley’s The Ramblers swept me up in the hustle and bustle of New York City life with its genuinely flawed characters and their surprising stories. It’s a book composed of ordinary moments and choices—of family and friendship, love and loss, jealousy and hope—and speaks beautifully of the feeling of being lost and unsure.

The trio of connected main characters—Clio, Smith, and Tate—faces the uncertain possibilities of the future while still bearing the weight of the past. The days during the week of Thanksgiving alternate between character perspectives to watch them struggle and stumble and somehow move forward. While I didn’t always agree with them, I still couldn’t help but understand and root for Clio, Smith, and Tate throughout The Ramblers, and my emotions enjoyed the ups and downs of the story.

I know this book is not for everyone, as it does contain plenty of profanity, sexual references, and #FirstWorldProblems, but I really liked it. A well-written, character-driven, and reflective novel, The Ramblers is a good choice for the fan of contemporary fiction (who doesn’t mind a touch of privilege)—I recommend it.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours, I received a copy of The Ramblers and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own. To read other opinions of the novel, visit here.

About the Author
Born and raised in New York City, Aidan Donnelley Rowley graduated from Yale University and received her law degree from Columbia University. She is the author of a previous novel, Life After Yes, and the creator of the Happier Hours Literary Salons. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and three daughters.

Find Aidan on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

1 comment:

  1. One day I want to explore Central Park. I'd like to experience the beauty that these characters encounter in their rambles.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!