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Ghosts
Cover of Ghosts
Ghosts
A novel
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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"”—from the bestselling author of Everything I Know About Love.

“An absolute knock-out. Wickedly funny and, at turns, both cynical and sincere… feels like your very favorite friend.” —Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Malibu Rising

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 dementia 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.
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"”—from the bestselling author of Everything I Know About Love.

“An absolute knock-out. Wickedly funny and, at turns, both cynical and sincere… feels like your very favorite friend.” —Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Malibu Rising

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 dementia 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.
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  • From the cover One

    “It is our imagination that is responsible for love, not the other person.”
    Marcel Proust


    Living in suburban North London was nothing but an act of pragmatism for my parents. Whenever I asked them why they chose to leave East London for the suburbs when I was ten, they would refer to functionality: it was a bit safer, you could buy a bit more space, it was near the city, it was near lots of motorways and close to schools. They talked about setting up their life in Pinner as if they had been looking for a hotel that was close to the airport for an early flight—convenient, anonymous, fuss-free, nothing special but it got the job done. Nothing about where my parents lived brought them any sensory pleasure or cause for relish not the land-scape, nor the history of the place, not the parks, the architecture, the community or culture. They lived in the suburbs because it was close to things. They had built their home and therefore entire life around convenience.

    When we were together, Joe often used his northernness in argu-ments against me, as a way of proving he was more real than I was; more down to earth and therefore more likely to be right. It was one of my least favourite things about him—the way he lazily outsourced his integrity to Yorkshire, so that romantic implications of miners and moors would do all the hard work for him. In the early stages of our relationship, he used to make me feel like we had grown up in separate galaxies because his mum had worked as a hairdresser in Sheffield and mine was a receptionist in Harrow. The first time he took me home to his parents’ house—a modest three-bed in a sub-urb of Sheffield—I realized just what a lie I’d been told. If I hadn’t known I was in Yorkshire, I would have sworn we were driving around the pebbledash-fronted-leaded-window gap between the end of London and the beginning of Hertfordshire where I’d spent my adolescence. Joe’s cul-de- sac was the same as mine, the houses were all the same, his fridge was full of the same fruit-corner yogurts and ready-to-bake garlic bread. He’d had a bike just like mine, to spend his teenage weekends going up and down streets of identical red-roof houses just like I did. He was taken to PizzaExpress for his birthday like I was. The secret was out. “No more making out that we’ve had completely different upbringings, Joe,” I said to him on the train home. “No more pretending you belong in a song written by Jarvis Cocker about being in love with a woman in a tabard. You no more belong in that song than I belong in a Chas and Dave one. We grew up in matching suburbs.”

    In recent years, I’d found myself craving the familiarity of home. The high streets I knew, with their high density of dentists, hair-dressers and bookies, and total lack of independent coffee shops. The long walk from the station to my parents’ house. The women with matching long bobs, the balding men, the teenagers in hoodies. The absence of individualism; the peaceful acquiescence to mundanity. Young adulthood had quickly turned into just plain adulthood—with its daily list of choices to confirm who I was, how I voted, who my broadband provider was—and returning to the scene of my teenage life for an afternoon felt like a brief holiday back in time. When I was in Pinner, I could be seventeen again, just for a day. I could pretend that my world was myopic and my choices meaningless and the pos-sibilities that were ahead of me were wide open and...
About the Author-
  • DOLLY ALDERTON is an award-winning author and journalist based in London. She is a columnist for The Sunday Times Style and has also written for GQ, Red, Marie Claire and Grazia. She is the former cohost and cocreator of the weekly pop-culture and current affairs podcast The High Low. Her first book, Everything I Know About Love, became a top-five Sunday Times best seller in its first week of publication and won a National Book Award (UK) for Autobiography of the Year. Ghosts is her first novel.
     
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 14, 2021
    The sprightly, sometimes touching debut novel by British memoirist Alderton (Everything I Know About Love) follows a cookbook author through her life’s “strangest year.” Nina, 32, has bought a flat in London and is taking a break from men after amicably breaking up with her first boyfriend, Joe, who has since gotten engaged and with whom she remains friends. Now, with most of her friends married, having kids, and moving to the suburbs, she hits a dating app in search of love. She promptly meets Max, a 37-year-old surfer, “his eyes shining, his beard golden brown, his skin burnished from sunbeams.” Things between them go swimmingly for months before he ghosts her, leaving her to cope with heartbreak, her beloved father’s advancing dementia, her increasing estrangement from her friends, and her unnerving downstairs neighbor. Alderton doesn’t exactly cover new ground as she moves through the obligatory scenes: an awkward weekend with Joe’s fiancée and her friends, an uncomfortable wedding, difficult conversations with Nina’s parents, and frustrating get-togethers with old friends. Still, this should hit the spot for readers of women’s fiction who appreciate the familiar.

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Ghosts
Ghosts
A novel
Dolly Alderton
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