About: Set over the course of one life-changing Thanksgiving week, THE RAMBLERS is a sumptuous, accomplished novel about loss, hope, passion and the strength of the human spirit. Native New Yorker Aidan Donnelley Rowley has written a love letter to New York City—its glittering moments and the magic and wonder that are waiting to be discovered in some of its secret corners.
Clio Marsh, an ornithologist at the American Museum of Natural History, has found solace from her broken childhood by studying the ways in which hummingbirds adapt to harsh environments. The Ramble in Central Park is the only place in Manhattan that has truly ever felt like home in the city, and she’s dedicated to introducing other New Yorkers to the beauties of the natural world on her popular bird-watching walks there. But then Clio meets someone and the solitary world she’s carefully constructed threatens to crumble as she struggles to come to terms with her past.
Smith Anderson has been Clio’s best friend since their first days as undergraduates at Yale, when a painful secret bound them together. As a professional organizer to wealthy Manhattanites, Smith’s career is centered on order and peace, but her own life has been falling apart ever since her fiancé mysteriously called off their engagement and quickly married another woman. Now, with her younger sister’s wedding just days away, Smith is spiraling out of control, grasping for answers from her family and from herself.
Tate Pennington, an aspiring photographer, is going through a bitter divorce. Though the iPhone app he created on a whim made him a millionaire nearly overnight, his failed marriage has left him reeling and he’s returned to New York for a fresh start. But Tate finds himself desperate for a real connection and wonders if he’ll have a sense of truly belonging somewhere, with someone, again.
As the emotional chaos of their lives unfolds, Clio, Smith and Tate must learn to let go of the past in order to make room for the future and the uncertainty and promise that it holds.
My take: I found this story about three thirty-somethings looking for contentment in their messy lives quite addictive. Aidan Donnelley Rowley’s prose is engaging and had me at times sympathizing with the characters despite some of their first world problems.
Clio, Smith and Tate learn to trust themselves and the person(s) most close to them. They also learn what to strive for – what’s truly important going forward. Issues of mental illness, meeting external expectations, and finding independence are all addressed.
I especially appreciated the tone the novel ended on and will look for more from this new-to-me author. Recommended to fans of Contemporary Fiction.
Praise for The Ramblers:
“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.” —Dani Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of Devotion
“A wonderfully woven story of how family can hold us back or set us free. The richly drawn characters in The Ramblers remind the reader that we sometimes fear the things we most want. It’s not often that a book embeds you so deeply with the characters that you feel as if you are in their story. Rowley’s finely drawn story of love, loss, fear and friendship wound me around its little finger…” —Lee Woodruff, New York Times bestselling author of Those We Love Most
“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.” —Will Schwalbe, New York Times bestselling author of The End of Your Life Book Club
“Chock full of the crackling wit, irreverent humor and raw honesty that readers have come to expect from Aidan Donnelley Rowley, this is a tale of beautiful people in glamorous places when life is anything but beautiful and glamorous. A whirlwind foray into the New York City that Aidan Donnelley Rowley knows and loves— and writes—so well.” —Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Empress
“Amidst the rich beauty of Central Park in fall and Manhattan in its prime, The Ramblers weaves a bewitching, wise tale of how love’s path may take unexpected twists and turns. Aidan Donnelley Rowley has brought us 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.” —Sophie McManus, author of The Unfortunates
“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.” —Mira Jacob, author of The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing
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 Hour Literary Salon. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and three daughters.
- On Sale: February 9, 2016
- Hardcover ISBN: 978-0062413314 / Price: $25.99
- Ebook ISBN: 9780062413338 / Price: $12.99
Author photo credit: Elena Seibert
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Giveaway ends Feb. 18, 2016 at 9am EST