Book Review: Ghosts by Dolly Alderton

‘Ghosts’ by Dolly Alderton was her second novel and was published in 2020. It followed the story of Nina, a thirty two year old single woman living in London and coming to terms with her friends entering the next stage of their lives, getting married and having children while she remains single.

Nina feels alienated in her social circle, friends she’s had since childhood seem to only talk about houses, marriage and babies. Except her friend Lola, who, like Nina is single and encourages Nina to join an app called Linx to look for a prospective partner.

‘Ghosts’ explores the nature of fleeting relationships and the idea of being ghosted, but the theme that tugged at my heartstrings most was the theme of nostalgia and yearning for the past. Nina’s father, Bill, is ill with Alzheimer’s and this proves frustrating for Nina and her mother, as both of them are having to support him in ways they never previously imagined.

I absolutely adored the characters in this book. Nina and Lola in particular were striking, relatable characters who were enjoying themselves and their lives as they aged and although they both experience insecurities throughout the story about wanting to settle down and get married and have a family, they are reasonably content in this time of transition and dating. After all, both are secure, confident women. Nina owns her own flat in London! Lola is eccentric and seeks adventure through new experiences. I loved them and their shameless enjoyment of sex and drinking. They were loud women, exciting women, the kind of women I would love to be like as I get older.

I enjoyed reading ‘Ghosts’, it was a comfortable, intimate read and I felt like I knew Nina like I knew my flatmates at university. That kind of closeness with a character was so unbelievably exciting for me! I really recommend it!

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