#BookReview: The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley

Reviewer: Samantha

I received a review copy

the ramblersSummary:

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.


In The Ramblers, we follow three characters who are simply trying to find themselves. Described as lost souls, readers watch their journeys play out in New York. Clio is struggling with the suicide of her mother and other childhood nightmares, Smith is suffering heart break while watching her sister prepare for the wedding that should have been hers, and Tate is newly separated and trying to find his passion after hitting it big with designing an app. It was very interesting to also get Tate’s point of view instead of just the two females, and added quite a bit of depth to this novel. I would describe this as literary fiction and one that will make you think, make you feel, make you question. Some areas seem to take a while to read through, but simply because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing a word. There were no unnecessary scenes or moments in here, and I really appreciated that. An intriguing and thought-provoking novel.

4 stars

Be Sociable, Share!