Rachel Reviews: Ghosts – Dolly Alderton

Ghosts starts and ends on Nina Dean’s birthday but, in between, the reader gets to spend a year in the life of someone trying to figure it out. She falls in love and also out of it, she starts arguments and then reconciles them, she struggles and makes mistakes and realizes big things… and then the book ends. I fell into Dolly Alderton’s writing like a warm bath, noticing often how eerily accurate she wrote about dating (online) in your thirties and reassessing priorities after they inevitably fail to live up to expectations. I thought the term ghosts would refer solely to Nina’s romantic relationship, but I loved how it ended up taking on multiple meanings: the way we ghost childhood and high school friendships when they become too difficult to sustain; how, if we’re lucky, we get to watch our parents age and then realize all the ways they’ll haunt us when they’re gone. Long after I’ve forgotten the characters in this book and what happens to them, I will remember the feeling it gave me, how apropos it was to the time and place in which I read it. The imprint of the memory will remain.