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The Ramblers: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

This is a happy, wise, life-affirming, love-affirming book, and yet I, who am usually drawn to rather sad, bittersweet novels, loved it. The story, set in NYC which is brought delightfully and vividly to life, is told alternately through the eyes of three interconnected, smart and likeable characters over the course of one week. Each has a fascinating career about which they are passionate and through them, the reader will learn about photography, NYC literary and historic trivia, ornithology, and the art of organizing and simplifying ones life. All three characters have fairly recently experienced a devastatingly painful, life-altering event which they struggle to understand by recalling their painful pasts in moving details and images. In this pivotal week, they are also each awakened to the promise of a brighter future. They learn from each other, they learn from the past how to forgive, and from the present that healing does happen. This is a book full of suffering, hope and joy; it is an uplifting read for anyone who needs a reminder that out of intese sorrow can come unbelievable joy. I think it was kismet that I happened to pick up this book to read at a rather pivotal point in my life; I was at a crossroads of sorts and was ready for a joyful read. This book will always hold a special place in my heart.

— From Jeanne's Picks


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. 

Praise For…

“THE RAMBLERS is an engrossing, meticulously observed novel of New York. Aidan Donnelley Rowley explores the lives of characters navigating the challenges of friendship, jealousy, love and the need to confront their past before they can create a future.”

“In this spirited, compulsively-readable, sophisticated tale of entangled urban lives, Aidan Donnelley Rowley has written a love letter to New York, full of sparkling innocence and its ensuing heartache. THE RAMBLERS is a pure delight.”

Witty and engaging, The Ramblers takes us deep into the cloistered world of three New Yorkers, where privilege does not necessarily lead to happiness. Aidan Donnelley Rowley is an expert at revealing her characters with depth and care.”

“Chock full of the crackling wit, irreverent humor and raw honesty [...] A whirlwind foray into the New York City that Aidan Donnelley Rowley knows and loves -- and writes-- so well.”

“Aidan Donnelley Rowley’s finely honed prose creates a New York story that had me enchanted from the first flirtation. It’s not often that a book embeds you so deeply with the characters that you feel as if you are in the story.”

“The Ramblers weaves a bewitching, wise tale of how love’s path may take unexpected twists and turns. [...] a deeply moving and elegant book about how we find ourselves and each other. It pulled me in with its first pages, and wouldn’t let go until the last.”

“Rowley once again captures the bright dialog, urban and romantic insecurities, and stylish lifestyle of a group of appealing upper-echelon mid-30s Manhattanites who defy the jaded stereotypes and will have readers rooting for them as they stumble their way to happiness. Irresistible.”

“Sharing that stage, though, is the natural world of Central Park, and the juxtaposition of the human noise against the quiet of the park gives the author’s view of New York an appealing depth.”

“vivid and charming…”

“…We’re calling it now, this one is going to be a best-seller and is a must-have for novel-lovers.”

“This gorgeous second novel by Aidan Donnelley Rowley centers on three different people in Manhattan in the week leading up to Thanksgiving weekend. [...] Sprinkled with beautiful literary references throughout, The Ramblers is a must read for bibliophiles.”

“Over a week in New York City, a trio of friends-an heiress, a photographer, and an ornithologist (fun, right?)-support one another like family through hard times. Discuss with your gang over brunch.”

“Think Friends with a little more drama and no laugh track. About three twenty-somethings (a socialite, a newly rick techie...and a birdwatcher!) in NYC. Perfect for the long weekend.”

“It’s elegantly written and sharply funny.”

“Three New Yorkers-a bird watcher, a type-A fixer, and an artist-try to navigate the zigzags of living and loving in the city during one crucial week.”

“A week of soul-searching and lovemaking among Yale alumni in New York... Enjoyable.”

“Clio, Smith and Tate would feel completely lost in the world, if not for their enduring friendship. Rambling through New York City one fateful week, the trip learns from each other how to let go of past heartaches and open themselves to the uncertainty and promise that the future holds.”

“Although it’s early, we’ve already committed to Aidan Donnelley Rowley’s The Ramblers as one of our favorite books of the year…You’ll at once fall in love with both the characters and with New York City itself…”

“You’re sure to be drawn into these characters and the lessons they learn throughout the emotional chaos of their lives.”
Product Details
ISBN: 9780062413321
ISBN-10: 0062413325
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: October 4th, 2016
Pages: 416
Language: English