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.
A trio of New Yorkers leading charmed lives must overcome everyday complications in order to move forward in Rowley's sophomore outing (after Life After Yes). Ornithologist Clio Marsh has her dream job at the Museum of Natural History and the love of the winning, much-older hotel magnate Henry Kildare, who's ready to commit. But Clio's having reservations about the relationship: she's never been up front with Henry about her mother's bipolar disorder and suicide, and she's constantly worried that her mother's demons may eventually catch her as well. Meanwhile, Clio's best friend and longtime roommate Smith Anderson is trying to keep it together while Smith's younger sister's impending marriage provides constant reminders of Smith's own broken engagement. A chance reconnection with an old college acquaintance of Smith, Tate Pennington, is a temporary respite from Smith's heartbreak, but Tate, a newly single Internet mogul who's just sold his company to Twitter, feels unmoored with no job, too much money, and the sudden dissolution of his marriage. Propelled by the kinds of rote sitcom-style misunderstandings that seem like they could be more easily resolved, this tale is light on plot, but Rowley's Manhattan provides a vivid and charming setting for her nuanced (if not always sympathetic) characters to evolve.
Great Light Read
I really enjoyed this story of friendship, family and love (with a hint of NY trivia and the city culture). Not too heavy and yet well written with some Wordly Wise words too. Plus, I love that this is not a raunchy book! “Beautiful” and “Lovely” story!