Nina Dean has arrived at her early thirties as a successful food writer with loving friends and family, plus a new home and neighbourhood. When she meets Max, a beguiling romantic hero who tells her on date one that he's going to marry her, it feels like all is going to plan.
A new relationship couldn't have come at a better time - her thirties have not been the liberating, uncomplicated experience she was sold. Everywhere she turns, she is reminded of time passing and opportunities dwindling. Friendships are fading, ex-boyfriends are moving on and, worse, everyone's moving to the suburbs. There's no solace to be found in her family, with a mum who's caught in a baffling mid-life makeover and a beloved dad who is vanishing in slow-motion into dementia.
Dolly Alderton's debut novel is funny and tender, filled with whip-smart observations about relationships, family, memory, and how we live now.
Dolly Alderton is an award-winning author and journalist. She is a columnist for The Sunday Times Style and has also written for GQ, Red, Marie Claire and Grazia. From 2017 to 2020, she co-hosted the weekly pop-culture and current affairs podcast The High Low alongside journalist Pandora Sykes.
Her first book Everything I Know About Love became a top five Sunday Times bestseller in its first week of publication and won a National Book Award for Autobiography of the Year. Her first novel Ghosts was published in October 2020 and was also a top five Sunday Times Bestseller.
There’s a particularly heinous level of hell reserved exclusively for single women in their thirties. If you’ve visited it yourself, you know. And if you haven’t, Dolly Alderton has written a book to give you a tour.
In Ghosts, 32-year-old Nina Dean is a confident, independent, successful cookbook author. Societal pressure to couple up and lock in a baby daddy before her biological clock goes ding sends her to a dating app, where she meets her match in Max. After months of dating and his profession of love, he ghosts her. Just disappears without an explanation. Vanishes into the ether. Dropkicks her from the heaven of new love back down to the aforementioned level of hell.
Perhaps because I could relate to Nina so much, reading about her experience was PAINFUL. I had a pit in my stomach and truly felt her emotions right along with her. She also has to contend with her smug married friends (as Bridget Jones would call them), who are leaving her behind in a wake of soiled nappies and suburban lawn clippings.
Somewhat oddly, the publisher seems to be pushing Ghosts as a romantic comedy. Years from now I don’t think I’ll remember the comedy, and I certainly won’t recall any romance. But what I will for sure remember is how the author expertly captured one very specific aspect of the modern human experience.
My thanks to Knopf Doubleday and the author for providing me with a gifted copy to review via NetGalley. Ghosts is now available.
I love when a book agrees with me. Makes me feel smart, and also psychic.
This book, for example, echoes something I've been saying at group dinners to be dramatic / while watching romcoms on various streaming services / at the end of every night I get drunk during:
Women date based on the person and men based on timing.
I first started saying this because I thought I liked someone who didn't want to be in a relationship, but then we ended things and I primarily felt an immense, almost spiritual relief in response, so it turns out that wasn't the case after all.
Now I just say it because it's true.
This book agreed with one of my dearly held opinions, which is the best thing a book can do, imo.
Unfortunately, beyond the protagonist of this being a food writer (one of the best things for a protagonist to be), that's the only thing I really liked about this.
I just wanted MORE from this.
Maybe this author's style just doesn't work for me - I didn't like her memoir, Everything I Know About Love, even though every single cool Instagram girl liked it, and all I want is to be a cool Instagram girl.
This was also very depressing. All the sad stuff was happening up to and including the last chapter, which was crazy - this was upsetting in ways I didn't want a book to be, while her last book was happy in ways I didn't want it to be!
Funny, how things can change but still be bad.
It's like a metaphor for recent years!
Bottom line: File as yet another unpopular opinion.
--------------- currently-reading updates
celebrating women's history month by doing what i always do (reading like only women are allowed to publish books)
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the most important genre of literature is Books That Are Honest About How Life Is Sometimes Bad
Let me introduce you to Nina George Dean - the middle name in honour of George Michael who was number one when she was born. She’s 31, single and a successful food writer. Using dating app ‘Linx Online’ she meets Max - sturdy, rumpled, he declares he’s going to marry her on their first date. Her dad is disappearing to dementia, her mum is rebranding herself, her best friends are Lola and Katherine, other friends are settling down, marrying, kids, the whole nine yards.
I thought I’d like this book as I enjoy Dolly’s Sunday Times column but I didn’t just like it, I love it. It’s so clever, acutely observed, reflective, funny yet so sad at times, it’s real, full of hopes and dreams, trust and loss of trust - all the illusions and delusions of life. Thee are so many ghosts in Nina’s life such as those who ghost you online, the ghost of who her father was and his relationship with her and her mother, the ghost of your twenties self and of friendships, the ghosts of your plans and the life you thought you’d have. Her father’s dementia is described so movingly and accurately as my father similarly became a poor benighted ghost and what really strikes a chord is Nina’s belief that no human can be deleted. The characters are great too, Nina is fantastic and deserves more, I love her memories of the safety of childhood and treasuring of her father. Lola is a terrific character too and I love her brand of wisdom which is comforting. There are moments when you feel Nina’s hysteria such as her reluctant attendance at a weekend hen do ( pins and eyes!) and oh yes, Prosecco is true venom. The end is perfect and Nina just ‘Gotta to have faith, faith faith’! Couldn’t resist.
So, overall, I think you may have guessed this is an easy five star book for me, a fantastic read and hard to put down. Highly recommended.
With thanks to NetGalley and Penguin for the much appreciated ARC
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. It tries so hard to strike that good balance between serious commentary on relationships and ageing as well as humour and kitschy romance- but it just wasn't there for me. Especially the relationship development toward the end of the book (which I won't go into in full detail- but let's just say it was VERY out of the blue and VERY weird). The book deals with ghosting of many forms, from dementia to dating apps, and the story of Nina and her family was perhaps the best part of this book for me, but the other factors disappointed me a lot.
I thought as well that the main character had *some* substance, but honestly not enough- it was this generic approach to the millennial main character who didn't really voice as much of herself as she could've. I wanted a lot more of the vulnerability in this book, and less of the speedy relationship and the complete lack of closure. I get that was partly a commentary on the whole idea of ghosting, but do men really vanish after proposing marriage so often? And some of the commentary about this generation being raised by PlayStations was just weird as hell. I don't know, maybe I'm missing a part of the puzzle, but this book just didn't bring it all together for me.
does this book have flaws? most certainly. however, as someone who was recently mistreated by a "too good to be true" dating app match, i was all too willing to look past them. Nina is a protagonist you want to root for simply because men are trash, but the most compelling parts of this book are the friends she is surrounded by, and the shifting dynamic between Nina and her parents as her father's health declines and her mother struggles to cope.
Nina George Dean is a 32-year-old single food writer living in London and slowly watching her pool of friends marry off and grow their families. Having a more feminist mindset, she doesn’t need a man to complete her, but nonetheless, has the same desire as many for her own family and person to love, if life chooses to bring it her way. Enter the Linx dating app and her match made in heaven, Max.
Max is handsome, kind, supportive, stable … everything Nina could hope for. Their sexual chemistry is off the charts and they spend every moment they can together for three months, even reaching the epic moment when Max says “I love you” and she returns the sentiment.
Then … it’s over. He stops responding to her texts and calls. The weeks drag by. She’s been ghosted by the man of her dreams. The “will they, won’t they” end up together question? I’ll leave that to the reader.
This book has been marketed as a romantic comedy, but as much as I liked it, and I really did for the most part, it feels like a mislabel. It does have plenty of humor and charm, and Alderton’s writing is fantastic, but there’s an awful lot of sadness and tension in this for me to go along with that categorization. Nina’s beloved father, Bill, recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, has a fair chunk of the story highlighting the disintegration of his thinking and personality, as well as Nina’s mother, Nancy’s, dysfunctional response to it. Alderton did an amazing job of portraying it - and the stress it puts on the family - in a realistic light, but it was way too serious for a book marketed as comedy. It felt like two competing stories happening … the one with Nina and Max and the one with Nina and her father.
There are other issues happening in the book as well: the distancing relationship she has with her childhood best friend, Katherine, navigating friendship with her recently engaged ex-boyfriend, Joe, and her toxic relationship with her downstairs neighbor, Angelo. Regarding Angelo, his inclusion in the book and an event involving him at the end, is my one big black mark against it, and I really can’t make sense of why the author went there, despite the book’s explanation.
Plot and believability issues aside, I loved the writing and was completely engaged in the story, and I would absolutely read another book by this author. I just hope the next time around is a little lighter!
A vapid 2020 Bridget Jones with a great effort made to sound like Nora Ephron (Alderton wrote the foreword to the new edition of I Feel Bad About My Neck, she's a big Ephron fan.). The highlights of the book were Nina's changing relationship with her childhood best friend Katherine, and her response to her dad's illness.
Nina writes cookbooks, but in a whole year-in-the-life we didn't see her cook as much as an egg. I don't think pouring condensed milk over a banana counts.
There was such a big deal made out of Nina's middle name, and I did not understand this at all. I don't know if that's just because I don't have a middle name, but I really didn't understand how so much of her identity seemed to be wrapped up in the origin story of her middle name.
The biggest disappointment that I had with this book was the one-sentence rant/quip about a cis woman putting her pronouns on her social media "even though she's never been in danger of being mis-gendered(sic)". I really thought that Dolly Alderton would know that it is helpful for cis people to display pronouns because it normalises doing so for trans and non binary people.
Crammed with unlikely occurrences, asinine dialogue and excessive meandering, Dolly Alderton's "Ghosts" quickly descends from a reasonably promising piece of fiction into a tiring farce.
The story is narrated from the perspective of its main character, Nina George Dean, a single, thirty-two-year-old food writer, whose middle name was given to her in honour of George Michael (an uninteresting fact that is mentioned a needless amount times throughout the book). The novel follows Nina as she pairs up with her last single friend to embark on a quest of finding romance through dating apps. While this appears to be the story's premise, only a fraction of the book's writing is dedicated to Nina's brief relationship with a man she meets on a dating app. Instead of the novel having a plot, it has several subplots running together that bear little significance to one another. Each of these subplots lack development and they mostly just labour the point of how people or things in Nina's life have changed since she was younger.
Weak characterization and nonsensical dynamics between characters are another flaw of this novel. Some of the absurd connections between characters include Nina being best friends with her ex-boyfriend and his fiancé, Nina's dating app boyfriend being enamored with her to suddenly not texting her back, Nina having an unrealistically belligerent nextdoor neighbour, and Nina eventually having sex with that neighbour on her kitchen floor during a confrontation that nearly escalates into a brawl. The characters themselves really lack depth and individuality, and are mostly just clichés of thirty-something-year-olds who are torn between wanting to settle down and wanting to maintain their youth.
The only parts of "Ghosts" that are any bit perceptive or that pique the reader's interest, are the sections that critique the trivialities of modern lifestyle and dating. So much so, it's almost as if Dolly Alderton stitched a dozen of her weekly Sunday Times columns together, forced a limp narrative around them, and then called it a novel.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an advanced copy of this novel.
My opinion of the book is conflicted due to the conflicting feelings I felt when reading it. It was well written, modern and pretty relatable. I easily found myself in the main characters shoes, her annoying friends annoyed me. However, overall I found it somewhat depressing . This could be because I am similar to the main character in terms of things such as age and being childless. Perhaps that meant that I took the content too personally, however I usually enjoy being able to relate to a character.
As much as I was telling myself that I was getting a bit tired of reading contemporary books written by Millenials about Millenials, I couldn't stop myself from placing a hold on Ghosts after reading some reviews and watching an interview with the author.
If I hear anyone say that sexual orientation is a choice, I will just send them to hear women's dating stories. It makes no sense that women would put themselves through all the BS to be with half baked, men- babies, who can't commit to a pair of socks, who always think the grass is greener, while they put almost no effort in a relationship (#NotAllMen) - and that's the "good guys", "the good on paper guys".
I liked this book from the very beginning. The narrator is Nina Dean, 32 years old, a food writer, who has finally decided to join the online dating game, after two years in the singledom, following the breakup of her long term relationship. Nina is quite content - she's got a job she likes, a mortgage, she's attractive enough, but she'd love to find a partner, maybe start a family. I mean how dare she? ;-) Enter the dating app Links, where one swipes left and right, through a multitude of potential matches. I enjoyed some of the observations she makes about dating, apps, the type of people on dating apps and so on. And wouldn't you know it, she strikes it lucky on her first date. Max is 37, an accountant, super tall, with rugged outdoorsy skin, curly dishevelled hair. He even reads. Books. The literary fiction kind. And he says the right things without seeming too sleek or sleazy. Nina - one of the most level headed female characters I've come across in novels by and about young women - falls in love. Meanwhile, on the family front, things are not going very well. Her beloved father, now in his seventies, has dementia and is getting more forgetful and confused. Nina's mum, who's not terribly close to her, is not on the same page regarding her husband's care. It's hard for everyone.
Alderton wrote a very relatable and readable novel that looks at relationships in all their many forms - friendship, familial, amorous, even neighbourly. She takes a good look at ageing and loss as well. Unlike other novels I read in recent years, Alderton didn't go for the shock value, for the overtly descriptive sex acts and obviously weird characters. I also liked that, for a change, our main character is not a damaged young woman (I mean we're all damaged in some ways, but she doesn't have any traumas that needed addressing).
Anyway, I'd better finish this overly long review. Thanks for reading my ramblings.
NB: The audiobook narrator did a great job. The only thing the bugged me was that the Italian neighbour's accent sounded Balcanic and not Italian in the least.
I loved Ghosts, a contemporary fiction story about Nina, a 32 year old living in London who has a pretty good life — She owns her apartment, is an author with her second book publishing soon, and has a good relationship with her ex-boyfriend. She isn’t bothered by being single but decides to give dating apps a shot.
Nina meets Max and they hit it off well on their first date. Max seems like a great guy but when he ghosts her, Nina must face all of the unglamorous things going on in her life — Her father’s declining health and her mother’s refusal to accept it, her ex-boyfriend’s serious relationship, tension with her best friend, her editor’s criticism of her third book idea, and the lingering, unanswered question of why Max ghosted her.
Ghosts story was modern, relatable as a millennial, and had a good amount of humor throughout the story. Many of us have at least faced some of the things Nina endures and I liked her a lot as a main character.
„Kai jis visa sauja suėmė mano odą, supratau, kad kadaise mylėjo klusnesnį kūną nei manasis.“
Aš nežinau, ką Dolly Alderton su manimi padarė. Bet tai tobulas lengvas-sunkus romanas. Aš neturiu jame prie ko prikibti. Net neieškosiu, tai tiesiog pasikalbėkim. Vienu metu čia ir pažinčių programėlių keliamos problemos, ir tėvas, sergantis Alzheimeriu. Čia meluojanti, iš naujo save atrandanti, sunkiai sukalbama, vardą tėvo demencijos akivaizdoje nusprendusi pasikeisti motina ir gyvenimo meilė, kuri vis išslysta iš rankų. Nors tu pati niekada jos negaudei, tik pati buvai pagauta. Čia noras būti mylimam – toks stiprus, kad net skauda. Bet tuo pačiu čia feminizmas, noras save suprasti – ne per pop psichologijos tipo blėnius (atleiskit, kam ne blėniai), ne per pseudo mokslą, o per realią, blaivią, sąmoningą savianalizę. Čia geriausios draugės, kurios ne idiotės ir ne isterikės, veikėjai, kurie neužknisa. Nors tokie realistiški, tokie gyvi – iki skausmo. Čia tobulas balansas tarp didžiausių gyvenimo nusivylimų ir savikritiško, retkarčiais tamsaus, o kartais tiesiog absurdiško humoro.
Tai knyga, kurią norėčiau būti išleidusi. Ne, pala. Melas. Iš tiesų tai knyga, kurią norėčiau būti parašiusi. Negalėjau nuo jos atsiplėšti, puslapiai vertėsi akimirksniu. Ji tokia šiuolaikiška, protingesnė, sąmoningesnė ir feministiškesnė Bridžitos Džouns versija. Joje pabaiga tiek laiminga, kiek pats pasirenki ją tokia laikyti – kažkam ji pasirodys tobula, o kažkam – absoliučiai tragiška. Norėčiau, kad ši knyga taptų filmu, o dar geriau – serialu. Ji turi malonų ryšį su nuostabiuoju „Master of None“, „Fleabag“ ir kitais kokybiškais, bet skausmingais kūriniais. Dolly Alderton taip gąsdinančiai tikrai skrodžia santykius: su savimi, su draugais, kurie keičiasi tavo akyse, su mylimaisiais, tėvais, darbu.
Ji klausia: kiek patriarchijos santykiuose jau yra per daug, o kiek toleruojame, net jei esame išsilavinusios, protingos, savarankiškos moterys? Svarsto apie gailestį, kurį jaučiame tėvams: nykstantiems, patiems save prarandantiems, tarsi akyse trinantiems tavo ir kitų egzistenciją iš savo sąmonės. Lygina tai, kas leidžiama vyrams ir moterims: per pirmą pasimatymą, pirmą draugystės mėnesį, per gyvenimą, mylintis, susirašinėjant žinutėmis? Sugeba atrasti paralelių tarp kompiuterinių žaidimų ir emocinio nepasiekiamumo dviejų žmonių romantiniuose klystkeliuose. Pasakyti, kad šioji knyga mane nustebino, būtų apgailėtinas „Vaiduoklių“ nuvertinimas. Man ji buvo nuostabi.
I felt pretty conflicted reading this one. Nina is so relatable, it was easy to feel every emotion right along with her. However I found the plot slow moving and a little boring. This isn’t your run of mill romance as there are serious themes but it didn’t go as deep as I was expecting and felt a little clunky.
My Rom-Com friends, this book is insanely fun. Dating in your 30's is unfamiliar territory to me since I married my HS sweetheart, but I enjoyed reading the scope of the later Gen-x's dating process.
"It's easier, being heartbroken in your thirties, because no matter how painful it is, you know it will pass. I don't believe one other human has the power to ruin my life any more."
Nina George Dean, named after George Michael, uses her wit and humor to get through some difficult times. Her friends have all joined the ranks and settled down to the "married with kids" profile and she has all the feels but single. When she meets Max online, he tells her I will marry you one day! Wow!! It's happening!! Plans are made! Her theme "Yeah yeah yeah....Laala la-la-la" "Edge of Heaven" 🎶 Wham
Now, we have a runaway groom. Max takes ghosting to a whole new level with no texting, phone calls or appearances with no explanation. He is gone..... The book is full of ghosting. Friends that have ghosted their bonds, due to misunderstandings or simply too busy with their own lives. Her dad has ghosted the strength of character she grew up knowing when alzheimer robbed him. Her ghosting online and the plans she once had. Her mother's ghosting by denial of duty to support her father and changes her persona of outward appearances.
Even with her rich inner feelings being displayed with humor, the underlying tones are heavy, so it's a lot of build ups just to be let down. She has some exceptional friends that see through her facade and celebrate the goodness of their times together. I absolutely loved this even though the emotions are heavy I loved the writing and style of words displaying awareness of all Nina's emotions. Thanks NetGalley for this digital copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
I really do love Dolly’s Writing, she is the the only person I’d even consider reading the Times for and I’ve directly quoted entire chunks of Everything I Know About Love at people. Ghosts however was disappointing and underwhelming.
There are some attempts at combining seriousness with levity, but the seriousness never really reaches any true depth. Whilst the characters, the lead character Nina Dean included, felt like pastiches of generic millennials. There were definitely parts that enjoyed, a lot of very realistic and resonant things about modern relationships in your thirties (familial, friendships and romantic) - some even felt lifted from my own experiences. Unfortunately these moments of enjoyment were typically, clumsily followed by something not as great - I even rolled my eyes at the audacity of a disappointingly predictable turn of the story.
There is a lot going on here, the move between each plot point felt quite clunky and made it so that I would forget about some bits. I think maybe I had too high expectations for this book, because I loved and have reread Dolly’s first book so many times; there are genuinely moments that I would have loved had this been my introduction to Dolly Alderton - her commentary on dating apps and their resulting relationships are so incredibly apt and poignant. Unfortunately the bits in between that didn’t connect or communicate with the rest of the book made it difficult to fully enjoy it as much as I wanted to.
I received an advanced copy of this book from Penguin UK, via NetGalley.
I'm having trouble putting words together for this review, as I'm not sure I can quite summarise how strongly I love this book?? I had very high expectations, and she somehow surpassed them. How is this her first novel? I just need to know.
Our main character Nina, a successful food writer, is so fully and fantastically realised that I genuinely feel like I know her. I can see her, I can hear her, I can smell her? (Mm, bit weird) Her thoughts and observations throughout the book had me nodding very violently and shouting 'YES' at it - it's like she's gone for a swim inside my brain and taken notes, and jumped back out to write them down. Magique!!
This is a very, very lovely and tender, yet funny book. It is everything I want in books forever. Her observations on dating in your 20s/30s, friendships as you get older, ageing parents, and love and partnership are bang on the money. I really had to fight to not gobble this all up in one go.
In case not clear, I absolutely 100% recommend this. Favourite book of the year so far!
Note: I was kindly sent a proof from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
This was one of my most anticipated books of 2020 and sadly it just did not work for me.
Nina is in her early thirties, a successful food writer who has broken up with her boyfriend of seven years and is entering into the world of online dating and coming to terms with her father's dementia diagnosis. Needless to say, she has a lot on her plate. I did like the way the book balanced all these elements and Nina's coping strategies for these things were believable and showed a lot of strength, which was a nice change from many books which show women falling to pieces after a break up.
My main issue is that Nina is not a likeable character. She is incredibly judgemental, critical and self centred. As the book went on I struggled to find any redeeming features and wondered by the end what the point was as she does not grow or really learn anything throughout the book. I also had a lot of problems with the depiction of mothers in this book who are all shown as desperate, embarrassing, insecure and unable to cope. This didn't sit well with me as a representation of motherhood.
I am really disappointed that I did not enjoy this book as I had high hopes for it and others seemed to have really liked it.
Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin UK for the ARC.
Net nepamenu, kada paskutinį kartą skaičiau šiuolaikišką romaną, su kuriuo galėjau taip stipriai tapatintis. D. Alderton taikliai ir kartais net skaudžiai artimai kalba apie santykius, pažinčių programėles, apie tai, kaip keičiasi tavo pasaulis, kai aplinkui visi kuria šeimas, o tu vis dar ieškai savęs. Ji nenudramatizuotai užkabina senstančių tėvų temą ir tą daro jautriai, bet ne cukruotai. Taiklus humoras, ištisos pastraipos, kurias skaitydama pritariamai linksėjau, nenusaldinta istorija ir puiki jos pabaiga. Labai labai rekomenduoju, jei ieškot kažko modernaus, neslegiančio, bet kartu ir neapipinto klišėmis, nes mane knyga visiškai netikėtai ir labai maloniai nustebino.
‘ghosts’ is another millennial, slice of life kind of book, the type that i always enjoy. this book follows nina dean, a single 32 year old cookbook writer who lives in central london. essentially, the book follows a year of her life from her 32nd to her 33rd birthday, providing insight into the typical life of a woman in her 30s: modern/online dating, friendships, family - and how we deal with all of these things as we grow older.
just like in dolly alderton’s memoir ‘everything i know about love’, this book was equal parts humorous and touching. i loved reading alderton’s witty writing style again, and my favourite character was definitely lola as a lot of the dry humour often came from her. the book provides some great commentary on the trials and tribulations of online dating in the modern world, touching on the difference between what is expected of men vs women. along with the more humorous and ‘rom com’ aspect of the book, there was also a lot of emotional depth strewn throughout it, especially with the storyline of nina’s father suffering from dementia, and also the exploration of growing pains from getting older and craving the simplicity of childhood.
even though there’s a little over a decade age difference between myself and the protagonist of this book, i still found a lot of it to be relatable and i think many other people will see themselves in parts of this too. as dolly alderton’s first delve into fiction, i thought this was a really strong start and i’m excited to read whatever she publishes next!
Ghosts by Dolly Alderton is a contemporary chicklit novel with a touch of romance and an even bigger touch of heartache. This one was originally published in October of 2020 but is being picked up and republished by Knopf books this year.
Nina Dean is single but not that bothered by the fact as she gets the rest of her life in order. Nina has one book published and is working on a second all the while taking on other smaller jobs in the industry. Nina has a great relationship with her ex after parting as friends and plenty of girlfriends to spend time with.
Now after a nudge from a friend Nina has decided to download a dating app and start working on finding a match to begin a love life. Of course as many women know most of the matches that contact Nina do not have the same plans in line and are only looking for a hook up but Nina does find one that catches her attention and sets up a first date.
Ghosts began and had parts later that felt like it was on a fast forward and had an info dumpy feel which isn’t my favorite style of writing. When the story settles in though I did like Nina and her friends and getting to know them all. The “romance” side of this one isn’t exactly romantic but more a warning on app dating which is why I labeled this more chicklit than romance. Overall, I’d say this one fell around three and a half stars for me as it did have it’s enjoyable moments even though it wasn’t my favorite style.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
There is humor in this novel about 32-year-old Nina Dean, a successful food writer who just bought her own place. While Nina is likeable as are her friends, some aspects of the story are predictable, and I never felt her love for Max, a man she meets through an online dating app. I did think the author did a good job describing Nina’s relationship with her parents and portraying how friendships change with marriage and kids.
Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity this novel, which RELEASES AUGUST 3, 3021.
Can someone tell me why Nina and Lola didn't end up together ?? screaming crying throwing up 😭
"You should give your hope to me." she said. [...] "Leave it with me and I’ll look after it for a while, if it feels too heavy for now". I tucked her hair tightly behind her ear. "I know there is a love ahead of you, Lola. Grander than either of us can imagine."
the homoeroticism in this scene omg Lord have mercy 😩
Sometimes you just need some good (very British!) chick-lit, and ”Ghosts” was very much that.
Thirty-something year old Nina Dean has been single for two years and is now ready to start navigating her way through the online dating world, using a dating app called ”Linx”. She soon discovers that as quickly as she can meet these men online and fall for them, they can quickly “ghost” her. This basically means they don’t reply to her text messages or answer her calls for seemingly no reason, completely out of the blue. She falls head over heels fast for a man called Max, who seems like the ideal partner, until he tells her that he loves her, then disappears of the face of the Earth. Leaving her to wonder what she even did wrong.
The subject of dementia in a parent is handled very well, as Nina’s father slowly deteriorates with the illness. It gives the story more emotional depth overall, beyond just centring around the main character’s dating life. A great quote during a chapter covering his illness is: ”No one can stay young for ever, even when youth seems such an integral part of who they are. It’s such a simple rule of being human, and yet one I regularly found impossible to grasp. Everyone gets old”
It might be tempting to look at what Alderton does and call it easy – romance, friendship, and contemporary observations about millennial women's lives are so common in the fiction marketplace that we are all too quick to throw one thing in with another, and before you know it, we're using lazy comparative qualifiers - 'the new Ephron' 'the next Rooney' 'the next Keyes' - to describe everything a woman writer does. Alderton's voice, however, is singular.
There's a bite, a sharpness, and an intense scrutiny in her gaze that makes Ghosts an addictive, compelling book, easy to accidentally read in a single day. The elements of what made Everything I Know About Love a success are still here, but Alderton's writing has become richer and more elevated. On a wedding ceremony: "There are some forgettable readings by some freckly cousins" / On sex: "he had known her blood on his skin as well as he'd known her perfume on his sheets" / On people obsessed with their own background: "he lazily outsourced his integrity to Yorkshire" / On a mother's scrutiny of her daughter's clothes: "This is new,' she said, looking curiously at it, as if it were 3 down on a crossword."
Alderton's success as a podcaster and a non-fiction writer has made her one of the leading voices of millennial women, and it's easy to see that she's on a path to becoming one of the lasting social commentators of our age.
Wow. 5 stars of brilliance. The story of Nina is so extraordinarily tender and thoughtful. Do not make the mistake of assuming this is merely about dating /ghosting. It is about ALL precious relationships….friendships, loves, ex’s, aging parents, even scary irate neighbors..each spun with lyrical language and a sense of true understanding. What a tremendous debut by Dolly Alderton.