Author: Aidan Donnelley Rowley
Narrator: Erica Sullivan
Published: February 2016, Harper Audio / William Morrow
Length: 11 hours 24 minutes / 400 pages
Source: Personal Copy via Audible / ARC Paperback via Publicist
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.
My thoughts: As soon as I read the description of this book, I knew I wanted to read it and I'm so glad I did - it is definitely going down as one of my favorite reads of the year!!! I so loved this story and of course loved that it was set in one of my favorite cities - New York City!
"We're all a tiny bit broken" - this is the heart of this book and such a profound statement that resonates with me. After all, if you think about it, is there anyone that is 100% whole? The three main characters of this book, Clio, Smith and Tate are dealing with loss in some fashion and trying to overcome it. They cannot move on until they resolve their issues. While they each have vastly different baggage to deal with, it all boils down to the same - you can't love someone else until you can be at peace with yourself.
What I absolutely loved about this book is that I felt I really connected with all three characters. Being able to get inside each of the characters' heads really allowed for an intimate look into their lives, to see their vulnerabilities up close and personal, and believe me, they all had them, despite the tough front they might present - this only endeared them more.
One of my favorite things about books set in New York City is that it makes me appreciate the city so much more. I only live about 40 minutes north of the city and try to get in when I can and so I love reading about the places I'm familiar with, but just as importantly, I love being reminded that the city is so vast and there as so many spots I have yet to hit: The Ramble and Alice's Tea Shop to name some. And I am definitely adding E.B. White's book Here is New York to my list of books to read!!!
This was such an engaging read - once I started listening to it, I was captivated with the story and felt swept up in the characters' lives. The cover of the book just pulls you in as much as the story and I have a feeling that this will definitely be a book I will be rereading some time in the future!
Audio thoughts: This is the first time I've listened to Erica Sullivan narrate and I absolutely loved listening to her. I enjoyed listening to her tell this story, especially her laugh - it was quite infectious! I thought she did a great job with the voices and will certainly be looking to see what else she has narrated.
GIVEAWAY DETAILS - (US only)
Thanks to the publicist I have one copy of The Ramblers to give away to my readers. To enter the giveaway, please fill out the form by February 22nd.
This giveaway is open to US residents only and ends February 22nd.
The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley is one of BookSparks "My Winter is Booked" reading selection picks.
Follow the #MyWinterIsBooked hashtag on twitter to read more reviews on this book as well as reviews on the other 3 books!