ARC Review: ‘Ghosts’ by Dolly Alderton

“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.” (Amazon)

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my e-copy of this book. 

Review of Ghosts by Dolly Alderton

My rating: 4.5/5

Ghosts is one of those contemporary fiction books that really spoke to me. It was poignant and honest. Dolly Alderton’s style is absolutely captivating and engaging. I absolutely loved it. I have the author’s non-fiction, All I Know About Love on my shelf, and I definitely will be reading it soon.

Nina, a successful food writer in her early thirties, is a great voice in voice in Dolly Alderton’s debut novel. Nina is often sharp, blunt and amazingly real. She doesn’t shy away from hard truths about her friends, family and most importantly herself. 

Although not unhappy as a single woman Nina wants something more as sees most of her friends expanding their families, getting married or engaged. Life seems to be moving on at a high speed, and Nina, at moments, feels like she’s missing out. What follows is something many of those searching for a relationship experienced – dating app and getting ghosted. And yet, that’s not the most important part of Dolly Alderton’s book – Ghosts underlines the importance of friends and family, even if they have different lives and at moments, they are slipping away from you further and further away. Nina’s friendship with her oldest friend, with whom now she has nothing in common, was tense and full of drama throughout the story, and I loved the resolution in this relationship. 

Ghosts also handled some heavy and painful topics such as dementia, with Nina’s father fading away more and more each day. While it was heartbreaking to witness through Nina’s eyes, I loved the way Nina’s family’s dynamic portrayed – they all have been affected through that so much. 

I found myself highlighting my favourite moments, and sentences, as I read Dolly Alderton’s Ghosts. Some fragments will definitely stay in my memory for a long time! 

Who is the book for: You will enjoy Dolly Alderton’s novel if you like honest and raw contemporary fiction. It’s definitely one of the best contemporary books I have read this year. Ghosts is getting published on 15th October, and you can get your copy here.


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