The Ramblers by Aidan Donelly Rowley is a story about friendship and love and family. It is a story of loss and struggle and coming out stronger on the other side. It is a story of hope and knowing that being lost is not a bad thing, but a wonderful thing. A good thing. The right thing. Because it is when we are lost that we find our true selves.
The story follows three characters the week before Thanksgiving as they struggle with their past and work to come to terms with their presents so they can move into their futures.
Clio is a gentle soul. The death of her mother is making her current relationship more tumultuous than it needs to be and she has to find a way to reconcile the past so that she can figure out the right path for her future.
Smith (who happens to be Clio’s best friend) is still reeling from a heartbreak that shoved her to the ground. She is doing everything that she can to move on, but finding it close to impossible. Her complicated feelings surrounding her family and her younger sister’s wedding only make things harder for her.
Tate is someone whose life changed almost instantly when he found what he was finally lacking the one thing he never seemed to have readily: money. However, now that he has the means to provide for himself and his loved ones and go after his dreams, he’s finding it harder than he thought he would.
I connected with each of these characters in different ways.
Clio’s hesitancy in her relationship is something that I very much see in myself. Despite wanting something so badly, there is something that holds her back from giving herself fully. She grapples with a family history that she doesn’t fully understand – as many of us do.
Smith’s complicated relationship with her family is one that I very much relate to. Having a sister that is very close in age and a twin brother, I find myself comparing when I really should just be happy for them. It’s hard to want to be close to your family and love them, but still try to figure out how to distance yourself so that you can become your own person.
Tate’s passion for photography is something I aspire to. My passion for photography, like many things, is inconsistent. I wonder, at times, if I would be able to pursue a passion of mine if money wasn’t an issue what it would be. Tate is the type of person that I hope to be one day.
This story was a haunting story with many intricacies woven throughout it. I would, unfailingly, recommend it to any adult.
For me, the thing that was most important, the point of the whole thing was this: It really is okay to be lost. Being lost is not always a bad thing. When you are lost, you are able to ramble and figure out what is important and what makes you, you. Being lost is all a part of the process.
This is a book that I plan to revisit again and again. It made me smile and buoyed me up when I wasn’t feeling so great. And it made me realize that I am doing okay. And I will be okay. And we’re all afraid of something.
I recommend this book to any adult. There are some sex scenes (very tasteful, some people have said they want more to them) and it deals with the lives of 30-somethings which most teenagers and younger won’t understand at all. It was an amazing book that I loved and will definitely be returning to sometime in the near future.
What have you read lately? Have you read The Ramblers yet? Do you want to? Do you prefer to have stories that you can escape through or would you rather connect deeply with the characters and have it pertain to your life?