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The Ramblers

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3.64  ·  Rating details ·  2,973 ratings  ·  352 reviews
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 Ram
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Paperback, 416 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published February 9th 2016)
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3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,973 ratings  ·  352 reviews


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Diane S ☔
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 Beautiful, beautiful cover, they do attract and the title I found fascinating as well. Probably a lighter book than my usual reads but there are deeper subjects at play all ably handled under this authors deft touch. Yet, what I loved the most were the characters, such wonderful characters, all thirty somethings at a personal crossroads, Clio, Smith and Tate. Different walks of life, different successes so far in their lives, but all with important decisions to make. Mental illness, marriag ...more
Angie
Feb 22, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am frankly a bit shocked at the glowing reviews for this book. I won a free copy, so admittedly outside the sphere of what I normally read. But the sheer volume of #FirstWorldProblems in this book almost motivated me to set up a global relief fund. I pictured starving Syrians air dropping almond cookies and artisan pots of mint tea onto the Upper West Side, Red Cross Life Coaches rushing in with Champagne IV-drips and buckets of Xanax to soothe the nerves of these 35-year-old Yale graduates wi ...more
Larry H
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd rate this 4.5 stars.

Many books depend on dramatic events to advance their plots, as the chaos these incidents wreck can leave indelible marks on a book's characters. However, there is often equal, if not greater, power in those books which focus on the more mundane crises and their effect on people. It doesn't take a catastrophe to cause emotional upheaval and eventual renewalsometimes these happen in the midst of everyday life.

Aidan Donnelley Rowley's beautiful book, The Ramblers , falls m
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Jen Hill
Mar 15, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jen by: Audible.com
Shelves: abandoned
I stopped 1/3 of the way through (audiobook). The publisher's blurb tricked me:
"For fans of Meg Wolitzer, Claire Messud, and Emma Straub"

Nope, more like for fans of Emily Giffin and other stars of chick-lit.

"...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. "

The only struggle in this book is trying to get through it without rolling your eyes.

First-wor
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Erica
Notes I took while I was listening to this book:

We’ve got Cleo who has anxiety, can’t believe anyone would like her, she won’t talk about her past, not even in her thoughts. She’s an ornithologist and professor and tour guide. Her first-ever real boyfriend (of 6 months), a rich Irish Silver Fox, loves her and she can’t deal. She has no idea how hot she is. I hate these characters.

Smith Anderson, Cleo’s BFF, is a poor little rich girl who isn’t getting married first among her peers and she’s upse
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DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

“For a sublime second, a sentence floats through her head unsolicited, an impossible thought. I am happy. Can this even be?”

“An airplane dots the sky, and she finds herself thinking of all the people inside it, strapped to their seats, surrendering to what will be, floating between here and there.”

“That’s what happens when you skip family dinner, love. Practically written into boilerplate of the Anderson Contract. We all talk about each other, always lovingly – well, mostly lovin
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Carol Brill
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an ERC from the publisher to review for New York Journal of Books.
Each character in The Ramblers is “at least a tiny bit broken.” Their vulnerably and flaws will resonate with readers, reminding them that everyone is carrying burdens we don’t see, that “no one emerges from childhood totally unscathed.”

Here's the link to my full review for New York Journal of Books, http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-...
Kathryn
4.5 stars. I began reading this book with a little trepidation. Would I like it? There is always a little anxiety for me when I begin reading an author that is new to me, and a book that I did not necessarily seek out.

However as I settled into this novel, spaced over little more than a week around Thanksgiving, I knew it was going to work for me. It is set in New York, and while I am not familiar with the city, never having been there, it was an interesting exploration of the city itself. Lots o
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Laurel-Rain
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The three of them have a history, and now they represent a kind of New Yorker that is facing challenges, struggling against the past, and hoping for a future. They are college graduates pursuing their professions while also finding what they need in their personal lives.

Clio Eloise Marsh is an Ornithologist, a bird watcher, and a professor. She has a past that includes a mentally ill mother who sucked up all the air in the world around her, and then, took away any kind of hope for a future. Can
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Becky
I enjoyed this book....wasn't overly deep & that's just what I needed. Some reviews found the over the top wealth & privilege to be too much, but I liked that part!!
Book covers 3 main characters in rotating chapters. Clio, Smith & Tate- we learn something about each of them & how they are all connected.
Don't read this if you have a hard time reading a book for entertainment value, some reviewers were not very nice & maybe need to lighten up a bit!

I loved the NYC setting!!
Bibliophile
The comparison to Meg Wolitzer and Claire Messud made me pick this up, but if there are any similarities, they are superficial. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's chick lit, not literary fiction. Privileged people in Manhattan try to figure out their "messy" lives, but since their problems are of the "my sister is getting married before me" variety, it's hard to take them seriously. It reads as if a really straight-laced, well-adjusted rich person imagined what problems might look like. Odd ...more
Tess
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ugh-- in these uncertain times, if you have the burning desire to pick up a book about narcissistic, privileged Yale alumni whining about their problems despite living off their parents and rich friends in glamorous Upper West Side digs and bottomless tabs at the Central Park Boathouse, here you go.
Shari
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While I did expect to be fully engrossed in this story, I did not plan on taking notes of the many quotes that explain and inspire. "Passion begets passion." "Loving as inducement for self-actualization." Thank you Aidan for #theramblersbook !
Kasa Cotugno
Sep 28, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, loc-usa-ny
So many books with New York as the star, but this is on the bottom of the heap. It doesn't take much time for so much naval gazing among the privileged to become a bore.
Courtney Baker
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Ramblers surpassed all of the expectations that I had held for this book. Lately I have been mostly reading crime, mystery, and thriller novels but as I was browsing the shelves of my local bookstore, the cover caught my eye and the summary on the back confirmed it for me. I was hesitant to start the book at first; afraid I would not be able to become interested or invested in the story since there was no mystery or horror. However, this totally was not the case. You first settle down and ge ...more
Debbie
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Ramblers
Aidan Donnelley Rowley
4.5 stars

The Ramblers is touted as a “love letter to New York city”, and it is, it’s also a tribute to The Central Park Ramble. As a tried and true Midwesterner I can tell you that the New York she unwraps for readers is exciting and intimidating, feral and sophisticated and I personally love how she in vivid detail reveals the hidden jewels as well as the well-known touristy parts. As a lover of literary fiction I can tell you it's a fantastic, quirky, intellig
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Susan James
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the few novels I've read that is written in first-person-present tense. The style fascinated me. The Ramblers is intelligent, humorous and heartwarming. It's also a love letter to New York City—and I adored the little-known pieces of history the author added to my life.
One hectic Thanksgiving week, three lost souls bound together by friendship learn to let go of their pasts and make room for hope and their futures.
I loved every moment of the book. I discovered places I never knew
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Cindy Roesel
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I grew up on Long Island, New York, but I love New York City! I lived there through most of the 80s while attending college and I can tell you, after reading Aidan Donnelley Rowley's new novel, THE RAMBLERS (William Morrow), she loves New York City with all of her heart, too! Her novel is a love letter to the city she grew up in, the way Woody Allen's early movies are visual homages to Manhattan. (Put the other stuff aside.)

THE RAMBLERS is about a group of three young Manhattanites who struggle
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Andrea: BookStoreFinds
Just finished The Rambler's, A story about 3 New Yorker's making their way through life after emotional and tragic set backs.

The story is told through 3 points of view spanning over the course of about two weeks. Clio, an ornithologist (Bird watcher & specialist) starts the book off. Clio is dating an older man named Henry who happens to be a very accomplish Irish hotel mogul. Clio is taken by surprise when the amazing Henry asks her to move in with him. The only issue is that Clio has very
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MissSusie
This was a new to me author and narrator although I liked the authors writing, this book just wasn't for me, I can't put my finger on it but I felt like this wasn't a modern story there was something old fashioned about the language and the interactions, it seemed every time a year was mentioned it jarred me, oh, right this is set in present day. Also the sexting and graphic sexual descriptions kind of took me out of the story because I liked the writing; the flow of it, then one of these scene ...more
Lara (Bookishsolace)
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a paperback copy. This has in no way affected my review.

Clio Eloise Marsh is an Ornithologist, a bird watcher, and a professor. She has a mentally ill mother and currently dates hotelier Henry, who is somewhat older than her. Smith Mae Anderson is Clio’s best friend from college and her current roommate. While struggling with trying to build up her own business, she also struggles with her past as her parents’ expectations are abnormally high. Tat
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Vicki
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It takes place in Manhattan during the week of Thanksgiving. It brought back a lot of memories because my family and I spent the week of Thanksgiving in NYC, and our hotel was in Manhattan. I wish I had known about the Ramble when I went to Central Park, I would have loved to have checked it out. It sounds like a great place to take a walk, birdwatch, or just sit and read or people watch.

I really enjoyed the three main characters, and Tate also. I loved how even though they al
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Diana
May 31, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
Ugh, people. Please, for the love of everything, stop writing stories set in NYC that are so f*#&ing cliche as this. Twenty-somethings with the first-est world problems EVER.

If Smith and Clio are BFFs, why are they so separated throughout most of the story? It was like reading two short stories, one about Clio and one about Smith. But both characters happen to know each other. And it was strange to occasionally position Tate as a central character but not Henry. I'm assuming the only reason
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Cheryl
Aug 11, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two in a row...first The Nest and now The Ramblers...stories that study the privileged class under a microscope. Thirty- or forty-somethings contemplating their navels while dining in trendy bistros, shopping in "bespoke boutiques" ( I kid you not) and bearing names like Tate, Clio, and Smith. Sigh. Life is tough. While some of their issues were serious and would rightly affect the future, it was hard to truly sympathize with such precious people. The writing is good, voices sound authentic but ...more
Richard
Jun 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Richard by: Dolores Adams
I enjoyed this story of three young professionals and friends in Manhattan who are at turning points in their relationships and careers. This book is about moving beyond heartbreak and sadness and embracing possibility.
Kathy
Apr 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What could have been a predictable and cliched story instead is a heart-warming one of friendship, love, secrets and imperfect families.

Read my review http://pennyformythoughts-nona.blogsp...
Dannielle
Eye roll city with this one.
Abby
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
#firstworldproblems
Helen
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Two college friends who have continued to live together and are just rambling through their lives finally come to moments when they have to make some decisions.
Cleo is an ornithologist studying hummingbirds, doing research in the Museum of Natural History, and conducting bird walks in The Ramble area of Central Park. Her mother was mentally seriously disturbed and her father concentrated his interest on his wife. They had very little money.
Smith is the daughter of a wealthy man who assumes she
...more
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“The brain may take advice, but not the heart, and love, having no geography, knows no boundaries.” 1 likes
“It's a wild ride, this parenthood thing. Hardest thing I've done in my life and by far the best.” 0 likes
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