I’m here today to share with you my thoughts on the book Ghosts by Dolly Alderton. Ghosts is the first novel from Dolly Alderton following her widely successful memoir, Everything I Know About Love. If you’re interested in that one, you can read my review and thoughts below.
Ghosts is a social commentary on relationships and modern and new culture of dating apps. The title of the book is self-explanatory. The main protagonist, Nina Dean, meets this attractive and mysterious man who ends up ghosts her. The concept is rather foreign to her and shocks and hurts her unsurprisingly. As a millennial myself who delves into the online dating world, ghosting is something I’m just accustomed to now. It sucks but it happens often.
I quite enjoyed Nina’s friend, Lola. She reminded me of her to be honest. Bless her. Lola is obsessed with dating apps and is on an endless mission to find the one. I loved the interaction with Nina and Lola touching on the importance of girlfriends and friendships. There are parts of the novel which were really relatable such as being a single woman at a hen party. Even now, I sometimes struggle to come to terms with how people my age are married, have kids and buy houses. Meanwhile, I’m in my family home scrolling Bumble at 3am.
My biggest critique is I just didn’t find Nina Dean all that likeable and relatable. She comes across a bit self-centred and bland. I would have preferred hearing a dating perspective from seasoned dating veteran, Lola. At times, I felt the plot was very clunky and poorly paced. The ‘twist’ at the end is also completely random and also slightly misogynistic? The novel also leaned towards heteronormative stereotypes. The female characters that were married were always jealous of their single friends and stressed about everything while the husbands were able to do whatever they pleased with zero consequences. Overall, I didn’t find the plot too exciting and felt like I really had to push myself reading it.
I did appreciate that the novel touched on ageing and delicate subjects such as dementia. We see Nina and her mother struggling to come to terms with their father’s dementia and the implications for the future. I also liked the concept of how ghosting was not necessarily in a romantic context but also in a familial context.
I love the sharpness of wit of Dolly Alderton which is why I enjoyed reading Everything I Know About Love so much. Dolly has a charming poetic way of writing coupled with dry humour. Ghosts is a good first novel and does read like her memoir Everything I Know About Love all about a modern twenty-something navigating the confusing world we live in.
I’ll leave you with this review I found on Goodreads which is so funny but also so true. Time and time again, I’ve learnt to always value my friends and family over any random man.
this would’ve been 100x better if nina and lola had realised that men sucked and then fell in love and had a happy lesbian life making cool recipes and living in london
Have you read Ghosts? What were your thoughts on the novel?