I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley
Published by William Morrow on February 9, 2016
Genres: Domestic Life, Family Life, Women's Fiction
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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.
The Ramblers is one of those books that I didn’t love but I didn’t dislike. Clio is a noted ornithologist who runs birding trips in Central Park. On one of these outings she meets an older man who promptly sweeps her off her feet. Then after a grand declaration of love, she runs. She feels that she cannot be the person he expects her to be. Then we have her roommate Smith, a rich girl living to please her father and still reeling from the breakup of her engagement. Joining the ladies is Tate, an old college friend, going through a divorce, while figuring out what to do after the sale of his app for millions.
Aidan Donnelley Rowley can turn a phrase. At times her writing was poignant and full of heart. Unfortunately, at other times it made the characters come across as whiney and over privileged. The world created was vivid and I loved how the essence of a vibrant New York City came through the pages. The pacing was great, no lagging and the story moved forward at a consistent pace. The characters and the plot were where I lost the love for The Ramblers. The characters have some emotional depth and their struggles were real to them. But it is hard to read about people who treat having seemingly endless wealth no big deal and sympathize with them. Yes, money does not solve all problems and rich people can have problem too, but it makes their struggles less important to me where money can readily solve some of their issues. This is a completely personal judgment, but it does affect my liking of the characters.
The Ramblers was a book I enjoyed, but did not love. It had some great points and some crisp writing. I could tell where Aidan Donnelley Rowley was going with it, but I did not follow the whole way. All in all not a bad read, but not an amazing one.
Favorite lines – She feels for that girl, that girl whose world was turned upside down, that girl who had no choice but to fall to pieces and then do the work to pick them up. And that’s what she’s done. There’s still progress to be made, that’s obvious, but she’s doing it, pulling herself together, more or less, and here she is, walking past those big buildings, the mere sight of which made her cry for months. But there are no tears today, just slices of memory, dregs of a devastation that’s thinning with time, the keen sense that things will be okay.
Biggest cliché – “I don’t need anyone, or anyone’s approval, to be happy.”
Have you read The Ramblers, or added it to your TBR?
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2016 New Release Challenge
- Mount TBR Reading Challenge
- Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
- The Goodreads Challenge