Review: Ghosts by Dolly Alderton

Title: Ghosts by Dolly Alderton
Publisher: Knopf
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 354 pages
Book Rating: C+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


INTERNATIONAL BEST SELLER • A smart, sexy, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy about ex-boyfriends, imperfect parents, friends with kids, and a man who disappears the moment he says “I love you.”

Nina Dean is not especially bothered that she’s single. She owns her own apartment, she’s about to publish her second book, she has a great relationship with her ex-boyfriend, and enough friends to keep her social calendar full and her hangovers plentiful. And when she downloads a dating app, she does the seemingly impossible: She meets a great guy on her first date. Max is handsome and built like a lumberjack; he has floppy blond hair and a stable job. But more surprising than anything else, Nina and Max have chemistry. Their conversations are witty and ironic, they both hate sports, they dance together like fools, they happily dig deep into the nuances of crappy music, and they create an entire universe of private jokes and chemical bliss.

But when Max ghosts her, Nina is forced to deal with everything she’s been trying so hard to ignore: her father’s Alzheimer’s is getting worse, and so is her mother’s denial of it; her editor hates her new book idea; and her best friend from childhood is icing her out. Funny, tender, and eminently, movingly relatable, Ghosts is a whip-smart tale of relationships and modern life.


Ghosts by Dolly Alderton is an interesting novel that follow main character Nina Dean for a year of her life.

Nina Dean has just turned thirty-two and she is ready to jump back into the dating game. She is rather rusty when it comes to romantic entanglements since she was in a long-term relationship. Her best friend Lola introduces Nina to the world of dating apps. After several possibilities fizzle out before the meet in person stage, she hits it off with Max.  Has Nina finally met her Mr. Right?

Nina is a successful cookbook author and she is also a columnist.  She is in the unenviable position of watching her beloved father’s decline from dementia and her mum’s unexpected attempts to remake herself. Nina’s longtime friendship with her married friend Katherine has also hit a bit of a rocky patch. So Max is a welcome addition to her life but she is bewildered when he “ghosts” her after a pivotal point in their relationship.

Ghosts is an engaging novel with an intriguing storyline. However, Nina and the secondary cast of characters are somewhat underdeveloped.  While the dialogue is snappy and sarcastic, there are several pages of Nina’s inner thoughts that are long winded and meandering. One of the scenes late in the story is rather jarring since it does not fit with that particular story arc. Nina’s scenes with her dad are heartbreakingly poignant as his dementia worsens. Her relationship with her mum is a little contentious due to Nina’s lack of understanding about her mum’s out of character behavior. Dolly Alderton brings the novel to a lovely conclusion that readers will absolutely love.

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Filed under Contemporary, Dolly Alderton, Knopf, Rated C+, Review, Women's Fiction

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