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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 12 star ratings
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  • Beautifully written and full of feels

    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 lovingly – and particularly behind backs.” “Don’t worry? Ha. That’s what mothers do. Day and night. Night and day. We worry and then we worry some more and then we worry about our worrying. You’ll see one day.” “She walks through the empty house, empty room by empty room. Memories flicker like fireflies.” “Friends. A dance of moments and memories, a tumble of years and tears and talks and walks, of sameness and difference, closeness and distance, words and silence, secrets and survivals big and small, a swirl of I’m okay and I’m a mess and It is what it is. And it is.” My Review: The Ramblers was not what I had anticipated, it surpassed all expectations I had when I picked it up. Given the title, I was expecting a story about travelers, when in actuality, The Ramble, is a woodland area in the heart of New York City’s Central Park, known to be an excellent area for birdwatching, which is the specialty of one of the central characters, Clio. The book was written from the multiple POV of a small group of individuals who had initially met in college and find themselves reconnecting 13 years later. While each has found professional success, each one is currently struggling with a major life challenge or hardship, as well as long-standing family issues – and are finding themselves at a crossroads and fearful of “unraveling.” The writing was superb – it was intelligent, insightful, and emotive. The characters’ turmoil was almost tangible, and it often squeezed my cold heart. The story was well paced, well plotted, eloquently detailed, and had my rapt attention. I felt I knew these people and their environments intimately, yet I have never been to New York City or known anyone remotely like them. When forced to put my beloved kindle down and attend to my own life, I found myself pondering the characters, unable or unwilling to let them go while I went about my day, and was more than eager to return to them as soon as I possibly could. I enjoyed their stories, which did not actually conclude, and while I am more than a bit sad to bid them farewell, I know I will remain ever hopeful they each achieve their much deserved HEA.

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  • A tribute to Central Park Ramble

    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, intelligent, serious and at times humorous look at life in the 21st century be it NYC, St. Louis or Tallahassee. It centers round a trio of protagonists trying to come to grips with life in the big city after each has experienced some personal life trauma. But it's the way the author deals with the aftermath of those traumas that keeps pages turning, how intimate she makes her characters how she bares them good and bad, body and soul to her audience and how life-like and genuine they seem. I also love that these are not teen or twenty something’s but true adults with true adult uncensored problems. I suggest any literary lover will relish this and take it out for a re-read often. This is my first experience with Aidan Donnelley Rowley but it won’t be my last. NYC ornithologist Clio Marsh carries big time baggage from her childhood leaving her unable to commit to a forever relationship. When she started dating older, handsome, workaholic, hotelier Henry Kildare she thought she was safe seeing he was married to his work. But then he went and changed the rules and she doesn't know if she should go running from or to him, or if after he learns all her secrets he’ll even still want her. Smith Mae Anderson is living the perfect NYC, Central Park West, Ivory Towered dysfunctional life. Still trying to move on from her devastating break up with her fiancée, owning an apartment merely feet from her parents where she grew up and owning a business that she loves but that her parents are convinced is “a whim of disobedience” against what they’d ultimately planned for her. Then she reconnects an old classmate from Yale who suddenly has her looking forward to life and just maybe love again. Tate Robert Pennington is back in NYC to start over and climb out of the downward spiral his life has become since the split with his wife. He’s wealthy, single and lonely but he wants more than the empty NY single scene. When he crosses paths with a girl from his college days whose become a beautiful, interesting woman he thinks maybe he’s found his way out of his doldrums dilemma.

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