The Ramblers


The Ramblers, a novel, is available now from William Morrow! Click links below (listed alphabetically) to order:


About the Book:

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 birdwatching 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 a February Best Book of the Month on Amazon in the Literature & Fiction category

“Rowley once again captures the bright dialog, urban and romantic insecurities, and stylish lifestyle of a group of appealing upper-echelon mid-30s Manhattanites who defy the jaded stereotypes and will have readers rooting for them as they stumble their way to happiness. Irresistible.” Library Journal (Starred Review) 

"Contemporary New York is the well-evoked setting for this fast-moving and entertaining novel. Its heroine, Clio Marsh, an ornithologist at the American Museum of Natural History (birds are a nicely developed subtheme), enjoys her time in the Ramble at Central Park. Her slightly older lover, Henry, is a Northern Irelander very at home in Gotham. Her roommate, Smith Anderson, from one of the city’s wealthiest families, broods over her younger sister’s marriage. Most of the action takes place over a Thanksgiving weekend, a perfect time for relationship troubles to come to the fore. In many ways, the novel is a throwback to an earlier era in New York fiction (Cheever comes to mind) in which wealthy Manhattanites occupy center stage. Sharing that stage, though, is the natural world of Central Park, and the juxtaposition of the human noise against the quiet of the park gives the author’s view of New York an appealing depth." Booklist

"A mother's death. A broken engagement. A failed marriage. Aidan Donnelley Rowley deftly weaves the lives of three thirtysomethings trying to find their way in NYC. It's elegantly written and sharply funny." US Weekly

The Ramblers is an Indie Next Pick for February! (Picked as one of the big books coming out in February by the association of Independent Booksellers around the country)

“A week of soul-searching and lovemaking among Yale alumni in New York… enjoyable.” Kirkus Reviews

“Vivid and charming.” Publisher’s Weekly

“In this spirited, compulsively-readable, sophisticated tale of entangled urban lives, Aidan Donnelley Rowley has written a love letter to New York, full of sparkling innocence and its ensuing heartache. The Ramblers is a pure delight.” Dani Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of Devotion

“Aidan Donnelley Rowley’s finely honed prose creates a New York story that had me enchanted from the first flirtation. It’s not often that a book embeds you so deeply with the characters that you feel as if you are in the story.” Lee Woodruff, New York Times bestselling author of Those We Love Most

The Ramblers is an engrossing, meticulously observed novel of New York. Aidan Donnelley Rowley explores the lives of characters navigating the challenges of friendship, jealousy, love, and the need to confront their past before they can create a future.” Will Schwalbe, New York Times bestselling author of The End of Your Life Book Club

The Ramblers follows a trio of well-hewn characters who find themselves at the complicated crossroads of love and heartache, past and future, loss and renewal. Chock full of the crackling wit, irreverent humor, and raw honesty that readers have come to expect from Aidan Donnelley Rowley, this is a tale of beautiful people in glamorous places when life is anything but beautiful and glamorous. A whirlwind foray into the New York City that Aidan Donnelley Rowley knows and loves – and writes – so well.” Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Empress

“Amidst the rich beauty of Central Park in fall and Manhattan in its prime, The Ramblers weaves a bewitching, wise tale of how love’s path may take unexpected twists and turns. Aidan Donnelley Rowley has brought us a deeply moving and elegant book about how we find ourselves and each other. It pulled me in with its first pages, and wouldn’t let go until the last.” Sophie McManus, author of The Unfortunates

“Witty and engaging, The Ramblers takes us deep into the cloistered world of three New Yorkers, where privilege does not necessarily lead to happiness. Aidan Donnelley Rowley is an expert at revealing her characters with depth and care.” Mira Jacob, author of The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing

The Ramblers in Cosmo.  “Three New Yorkers – a bird watcher, a type-A fixer, and an artist – try to navigate the zigzags of living and loving in the city during one crucial week.”

The Ramblers in POPSUGAR’s 23 Books You Should Read This Winter. “This gorgeous second novel by Aidan Donnelley Rowley centers on three different people in Manhattan in the week leading up to Thanksgiving weekend. All lost in their own ways, they will each need to face their pasts before moving on with their futures. Sprinkled with beautiful literary references throughout, The Ramblers is a must read for bibliophiles.”