Bookphenomena (Micky) 's Reviews > The Ghostwriter

The Ghostwriter by Alessandra Torre
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THE GHOSTWRITER is my joint favourite book of 2017 and I've read upwards of 200 this year. This is a contemporary suspense read with challenging subject matter but with the kind of writing that beautifully navigates you through the difficulties.

There are three main characters in this story but Helena is at the helm. She's an author but this time she needs a ghostwriter to help her tell this story and it's her autobiography she's telling. Her husband Simon is at the fore, as is the ghostwriter Mark.

"I hate Simon with my entire soul, and I love him with every other inch of my body, and neither really matters."

Helena is a character that is rather hard to like. She was a hermit to all intents and purposes. The why of this was a question I asked of the book all the way through. I felt compassion for her but the more I got to know of her behaviour to other human beings, of the realities of her parenting, the more I struggled with who she was. I questioned her mental health, diagnosing disorders but it didn't really matter. Over time, I came to an understanding of who she was, of her self awareness and her fight for others. I admired her.

A lot of this story is about Helena and Simon, on the face of it their marriage was uncomplicated, underneath, it was so complicated that it took the whole book to fathom the depth of the secrets, lies and subversive deceit. I'm not even going to speak to my feelings regarding Simon but it felt 'off' early on.

"Maybe we're normal. Maybe every husband drives his wife crazy. Maybe every wife falls short. But it doesn't feel normal. It feels like we are at war. A war I am losing."

As Mark helps Helena to tell her story, something special happens, a chink of light, of friendship. Mark was my ray of good in this book and I admired his friendship towards Helena, complex though it was. Mark was carrying all the same questions that I had as a reader, waiting and waiting for the answers.

"We are climbing the hill towards the climax, though Mark doesn't know that yet. He has no idea that all of these pieces, all of the stories, are blocks of dynamite, carefully placed and positioned for eventual explosion."

The book started as hugely intriguing, even a little mellow. The suspense built and built to crescendo of need to know the answers and I blew through the last 30% to reach the conclusion. What happened was utterly unexpected, the whys, the how's and the tragedy. The context of the answers were difficult to read but ultimately fulfilling in what was a excellently developed story with characters that don't often come along.

I am a fan of all the genres Alessandra Torre has written, I've read all of her books but I favoured the 6e series. THE GHOSTWRITER is her best work to date. I am emotionally drained and at a loss after reading this book because it was just that good.

A copy of this book was provided by the author through netgalley in return for a honest review.

Reviewed for Jo&IsaLoveBooks Blog.
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Reading Progress

July 7, 2016 – Shelved
September 19, 2017 – Started Reading
September 19, 2017 –
15.0% "The writing is divine, the story is edgy."
September 21, 2017 –
33.0% "I have so many questions and the twists have started. It's also kind of mellow, yet tragic but I have a feeling this won't last. I just want to read!"
September 22, 2017 –
56.0% "Totally absorbed."
September 22, 2017 –
79.0% "What is in that room? I need answers."
September 22, 2017 –
82.0% "Fuuuuuuck."
September 22, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-26 of 26 (26 new)

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Pamela Lilley Love the review. I'm only about 15% and waiting to get sucked in. Xxx


Bookphenomena (Micky) Pamela wrote: "Love the review. I'm only about 15% and waiting to get sucked in. Xxx"

Thanks Pam, it is a gradual climb initially but I was grabbed in pretty quickly. Enjoy!


Tara | Slow Readers Blog Fantastic review! I like Alessandra Torre, but I wasn't hugely excited to read this one. Now I am!


Bookphenomena (Micky) Tara | Slow Readers Blog wrote: "Fantastic review! I like Alessandra Torre, but I wasn't hugely excited to read this one. Now I am!"

Thank you, Tara. I do think you'd enjoy it.


message 5: by Hollis (new) - added it

Hollis goooooodness gracious. this encapsulates all the intensity of your reactions post-final pages and so much more. I love this review, I love your thoughts and feelings, and can't wait to get to this one.


Bookphenomena (Micky) Hollis wrote: "goooooodness gracious. this encapsulates all the intensity of your reactions post-final pages and so much more. I love this review, I love your thoughts and feelings, and can't wait to get to this ..."

You ear was much appreciated even though it was vague Mc Vaguerson. Thank you <3


Alissa This is my most anticipated upcoming book release - even more so now that it’s Micky-approved :)


Bookphenomena (Micky) Alissa wrote: "This is my most anticipated upcoming book release - even more so now that it’s Micky-approved :)"

It will live up to all your expectations! Looking forward to your thoughts.


Sophie "Beware Of The Reader" Fantastic review Micky!!!


Bookphenomena (Micky) Sophie "Beware Of The Reader" wrote: "Fantastic review Micky!!!"

Thanks so much, Sophie ❤️


message 11: by Paige (new)

Paige Great review!


Bookphenomena (Micky) Paige wrote: "Great review!"

Thanks, Paige.


message 13: by Nazanin (new)

Nazanin Terrific review, Micky! :)


Bookphenomena (Micky) Nazanin wrote: "Terrific review, Micky! :)"

Thanks Nazanin!


Amanda I love this review! I wish I could write one like this! Lol. Perfect for this book. I agree, an amazing read.


Bookphenomena (Micky) Amanda wrote: "I love this review! I wish I could write one like this! Lol. Perfect for this book. I agree, an amazing read."

Thanks so much, Amanda. I loved chatting it up with you, finally able to speak to someone about it!


Melissa Great review! I agree, Mark was the bright spot in a sea of grey! What a story this turned out to be . . . she sure knows how to keep us readers on our toes.


Bookphenomena (Micky) Melissa wrote: "Great review! I agree, Mark was the bright spot in a sea of grey! What a story this turned out to be . . . she sure knows how to keep us readers on our toes."

Thanks Melissa, twisty stuff right here!


message 19: by Becky (new) - added it

Becky Cox Great review Micky. I just finished this one and it blew me away!


Bookphenomena (Micky) Thanks Becky. I'm so glad you loved it.


message 21: by Cat (new) - added it

Cat GREAT review x x


message 22: by Jessica (new) - added it

Jessica Love this review I hope when I read this I can connect with the book on an emotional level too.


Bookphenomena (Micky) Jessica wrote: "Love this review I hope when I read this I can connect with the book on an emotional level too."

Cat wrote: "GREAT review x x"

Thank you so much ❤️


Tracey Hi Micky. You said it was your joint favorite book...I was wondering what the other one is.


Bookphenomena (Micky) Tracey wrote: "Hi Micky. You said it was your joint favorite book...I was wondering what the other one is."

Hi Tracey, my other favourite is different genre wise but equally fantastic - A charm of finches by Suanne Laqueur but it’s a duet and you have to read An exaltation of larks first.


Tracey Thank you!


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