GHOSTS - DOLLY ALDERTON
Author: Dolly Alderton
Published: October 2020
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary Romance
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.
NICKY'S REVIEW ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
As a diehard @dollyalderton fan, I went into her debut fiction book with both excitement and curiosity on how well she could execute both genres. Unsurprisingly, I was elated by the pleasant reminder of just how brilliant of a storyteller she is. Opting for the audiobook, I was captivated from start to finish by the story of 31yo Nina Dean as she navigates the jungle that is online dating, realisation of toxic friendships, managing a father who suffers dementia, and a mother struggling to cope. I adored the character of Nina, and found her to be relatable and admirable. At times I saw parts of myself in her, and I think a lot other people will too. While the synopsis depicts what you could categorise as a rom com, this one will also tug on your heartstrings as it flawlessly fails to shy away from the grittiness and realities of just how trying these years can be.
TAY'S REVIEW ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Coming off the back of a pretty lousy rating for her first book, I was not expecting to enjoy this one so much. The concept of ‘ghosting’ is hardly new but rarely seen explored so wholly in a plot before. I was consequently deeply engaged, rarely losing my focus. But what dazzled me the most was the level of detail Dolly used. She is a phenomenal storyteller, making it not only easy to follow but naturally evokes empathy as a reader. She cleverly interwove lessons to be learnt from friendships; the eternally pure, the toxic, the long-term relationship turned companions, all the while featuring two parallel stories of losing a relationship, one out of thin air and one to a relentless and distressing disease. I felt it shone a light in all the right places (though it could have done without the Angelo sub plot??). I fiercely related to these facets of heartbreak, and pursuit of validation, and can confidently say this was a stellar debut into the fictional realm for @dollyalderton.
OUR FAVOURITE QUOTE
“Being a heterosexual woman who loved men meant being a translator for their emotions, a palliative nurse for their pride and a hostage negotiator for their egos.”
⚠️ CONTENT WARNINGS ⚠️
Discussions of dementia
Marie Claire Interview
Dolly Alderton on Her Debut Novel and the Gendered Politics of Modern Love
Shameless podcast interview (Oct 2020)
IN CONVERSATION: Dolly Alderton
The Penguin Podcast interview (Nov 2020)
Dolly Alderton with Sue Perkins