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Oh I loved this book right from the word go. I loved the double meaning of the title and I really felt like I could relate to Nina and her struggles in life in general and in particular in the online dating world.
This book highlights the importance of having a support network around you. Whether that group is made up of family, or chose family or even a combination of both having someone you can call when a date goes badly, having someone there to be your plus one at a disastrous hen do or having someone there when you have to be there for your family is so important.
Nina also really makes me very very happy that I am not currently involved in the world on online dating. Her dating life is seriously complex and it takes her and her friends to decipher what the hell they should do next after a move has been made. It made me exhausted just reading about it and also reminded me of how infuriating it is to be ghosted in any way shape or form.
This book also touches on the issues of dementia and Alzheimers in a loved on. I think this writer did and incredible job of building that into Nina's story and this gives us the other side of ghosts, when a loved one's memories and your shared history becomes a ghosts. It comes and goes and you never know when you're going to see their true self from one minute to the next. This is an incredibly painful experience and reading about it through Nina and her life was so easy to relate to and I think Dolly Alderton really does highlight the helplessness one feels in that situation.
Aside from the pain in the book and the drama there is also a whole lot of heart and humour. I loved the shared jokes that Nina has with her friends. A particularly hilarious scene for me was where Nina is at a hen do and references the fact that fizz is only called fizz in a room full of women who secretly hate each other. I need that on a travel champagne flute now! I love the way Dolly Alderton has with words. Her writing is truly inspiring and this novel really does have it all!
I have to admit when i started to read this book i wondered if perhaps, being in my late fifties, i was in the wrong age bracket.......not at all. Having a daughter almost thirty i could relate to so much of this book. Not only that, i could relate to so many other situations and emotions told in this story.
This book plays on every emotion. I found it funny, sad and in some places i was so outraged it made me want to shake some of the characters.
I loved the characters in this story, even the ones you are made to dislike. Family, friendships and life struggles felt real and so did the interaction between them. I could see some of them in my own life.
This story is about life, growing up, growing older and all of life's wonderful but also sometimes messy situations. It is about dreams, aspirations, It is also about life-long friendships that last, through thick and thin.
This book is not a sit on the edge of your seat story but it keeps you interested from start to finish. It is a well written easy read and once started i found it hard to put down. I would absolutely recommend this book.
I hadn't read a single book in lockdown (2020) despite averaging 1-2 books a week in normal times. So when I was reminded I had preordered 'Ghosts' many months previous (love Dolly Alderton from the High Low podcast) I had a looming sense of sadness it would sit on the shelf gathering dust like the rest of my unread books. When it arrived on publication day I absent mindedly read a few pages of the prologue. 2am and I had devoured the whole thing! Unputdownable!
I really liked the main character, Nina, for her strength and humour, and the subject matter is surely one close to a lot of the hearts of us singles. The descriptions of vapid and cruel nature of online dating were painfully true, though I think there are regional variations (i.e. if you're not a Londoner). It was so relatable I just had to read one more chapter until there weren't any left! I had to see how it played out between Nina and Max, though if you've ever spent any length of time in that world.. you probably know. I'm glad the author gave the protagonist some sort of cathersis, even if it wasn't directed towards the source of her own pain. I also liked the subplot with Nina's noisy downstairs neighbour, Angelo, which really did keep me guessing (hint: it is NOT Emily in Paris!).
An engaging and addictive tale about a sadly increasingly common phenomenon in modern dating, glued together with the signature friendships where the authors heart really shines through. Thanks Dolly for reminding me of my love of reading!
After reading this I can still confidently say I love Dolly Alderton and her writing.
Nina is a 32 year old newly established food writer, after giving up her career as a teacher to take the plunge and go into writing full time. After her consistently single friend Lola persuades her to have a go at dating, she meets the mysterious and handsome Max on the dating app Lynx and falls head over heels. While her new relationship is blossoming, Nina comes to the realisation of how she and those around her are getting older. Most of her friends now have children and live in houses outside of London whilst she has just brought her first tiny flat in Central London that needs a lot of work. What she finds hardest about getting older though, is the fact that her Dad has dementia and his memory is sadly getting worse and she feels like her Mum is slightly in denial about it. We join Nina through the "weirdest year of her life" and how she deals with the different relationships around her.
Within the first few pages I was hooked, I don't know what it is about Dolly Alderton's writing, but it just makes for effortless reading. I feel like I resonate with every word on the pages and with the experiences and challenges Nina faces. I like reading about modern day, contemporary references as I can relate so much. The term ghosting is something I am familiar with and something which has happened to me before so it really got me in the feels, I was almost shouting at the pages " Nina, I feel you girl!"
Honestly, when people say they laugh out loud at books, I don't usually get it, I feel like its a bit like when I text someone lol whilst I'm doing anything but laughing out loud. But - within a couple of pages I was already laughing out loud and that is rare! (I'm not miserable I promise)
This was book was so perfect, I devoured it in a couple of sittings. There is only one reason I couldn't give it a full 5 out of 5 and that is because of something that happens near the end (NO SPOILERS) which I just didn't understand and was a bit like "Reeaally? Why Nina? WHY?! ". Aside from that I loved it and will be recommending it.
It is safe to say Dolly Alderton has established herself as one of my favourite authors and anything she writes will find its way to my tbr list as soon as it is announced.
Let me start off by saying I LOVED Dolly’s first book. Loved it. Love her podcast.
But this was such a disappointment! It is relatable, as was her first book, but that’s about as far as it goes. The writing style is terrible, with elaborate, gimmicky metaphors that don’t make sense or fit - almost as if Dolly thought of them and wrote them down thinking ‘ooh I’ll put that in later’ but they just don’t work; thus a bit indulgent. The characters were uninventive and a the plot never really thickened. I got to the end of the book and felt flat - not hungry for more, but not satisfied either. It’s not bad for a debut novel but could definitely do with some work. However, praise to Dolly for her honesty and relatability of the modern day millennial woman.
Well done Dolly. A great story about looking for love and connection in the world of Apps and the internet. As always her observations are astute and thought provoking. Totally nailed it. More please. Only thought is that as food writer, the main character didn't seem to actually do much cooking! I was tempted to give the book one star and say ' This book is NOT about Patrick Swayze' - Dolly will get the joke!
Couldn’t put Dolly’s first book down. However, this one is painful to read. I just don’t understand all the amazing reviews. It’s rehashed stuff and not well written. It’s sad, as I bet loads of unpublished authors have written some amazing books, this seems to have got a deal on the back of the first book. I probably won’t bother finishing it.
I’m in my late forties but I really liked an interview where Dolly mentioned that people with dementia may have lost their memories but don’t lose their essence. Having seen off a parent, that struck me as very true. So I read this. At the start I thought it was entertaining but a little cliched. Nina marvels at how ordinary and boring everyone on the dating app is, all just looking for someone to love them, while she of course is looking for something much more cool. How immature, I thought! - of course we are all looking for someone to love us, what the hell is wrong with that? Why do so many young women feel ashamed of admitting that they want a stable relationship and children? Dolly Alderton answers that question all too well. In fact she was way ahead of me all along, and the ultimately very likeable Nina has a bittersweet learning curve ahead. I would have liked to have read this novel when I was in my thirties. I would have learned something from it and gained a grip on myself.