Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Ramblers

The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley
HarperCollins; 2/9/16
hardcover; 385 pages
ISBN-13: 9780062413314

The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley is a recommended novel about three successful Yale alumni in their 30's experiencing angst in NYC. All the action takes place during one Thanksgiving week. 

Clio Marsh is an ornithologist who works at the Museum of Natural History. A story about her weekly bird-watching walks through the Central Park Ramble is featured in New York Magazine opens up the novel. She is torn about having a committed relationship with 50 year-old hotel magnate Henry Kildare, a man who adores her. Clio feels unable to share information about her back ground and her mother with Henry.

Clio's best friend, Smith Anderson, comes from a wealthy, privileged background. Her parents, Bitsy and Thatcher not only have provided her with a million dollar apartment (that Clio stays in too), they have financed Smith's venture into her own business. She is recovering from her recently broken engagement to a doctor and is trying to pull herself together, with the help of a phone-in life coach, in time for her younger sister's impending wedding.

Tate Pennington has just sold his app PhotoPoet for millions of dollars to Twitter and is right in the middle of a divorce. He has returned to NYC from the west coast and just happens to run into Smith. Tate is at loose ends with no job, but more than enough money. He and Smith are attracted to each other immediately.

Rowley's novel is well written and includes bits of extra information about the characters (articles, papers, etc.) or epigraphs of people the characters revere, that add some interest. The setting is all Manhattan, from the Upper West Side, to Central Park, to Greenwich Village, and drops plenty of names of landmarks along the way for those familiar with NYC. The issues these characters are dealing with are nothing rare or earth shattering, but Rowley explores how these individuals are coping with their particular problems during this one week.

First, I will have to admit that I was expecting a totally different kind of book than the one I read, which puts me in a bit of a quandary. Rowley is an excellent writer and she did explore these characters and capture their feelings. However, I didn't enjoy this book and experienced more than my fair share of eye rolling at these angsty overly privileged characters and their whining. There, I've said it. Clio is all nervous because she's afraid to tell her billionaire boyfriend who just created a penthouse apartment for them in his brand new hotel that her mother was bi-polar. What is this - the 1950's? No? Then if you love him tell him. There is medication should you have the same problem in the future. Smith broke up with her fiancée and now her little sister, the doctor, is getting married. Goodness, no wonder you can't recover from that blow without the help of your call-in life coach. And poor Tate (figuratively speaking, literally he's loaded) is just looking for meaning and love in his life.

Concerning my rating, The Ramblers is recommended based on the writing and Rowley's ability to tell a story. Personally, it may not be a novel I would chose, but it is a very well written novel and very likely geared toward a (much) younger demographic than the one I represent. I guess I'm just too old to work up a lot of empathy for the problems these young adults are experiencing without wanting to tell them to just snap out of it. And don't get me started on their names. 


Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from HarperCollins and TLC for review purposes.  

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.