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Ghosts

Narrated by: Holliday Grainger
Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (374 ratings)

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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

The first novel from the award-winning, best-selling author of Everything I Know About Love.

Narrated by Holliday Grainger, star of Lady Chatterley's Lover, Tell It to the Bees and Animals

Nina Dean has arrived at her early 30s 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 30s 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.

©2020 Dolly Alderton (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"I love this book. It is wise, funny, tender and true, sharply-observed and utterly hilarious. Dolly Alderton's talent is phenomenal." (Elizabeth Day)

"Such clever writing, wonderfully funny; fab characters and delightful details. Divine." (Nina Stibbe)

"I loved it - Dolly Alderton has clearly mastered every form of writing. Which is a surprise to nobody." (Candice Carty-Williams)

What listeners say about Ghosts

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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I so wanted to enjoy this !

So I struggled .... the performance of Holliday was such that her voice kept whispering off so had to turn the volume up - then she would blast my ears! I wonder if it is the performance which made this so blerch for me and made it seem so mightier than thou and all the description became this softly spoken wispy dreamlike nonsense which made me think the protagonist a pretentious wally. I love Dolly and loved the first book and her high low podcast. But this was just a reworking of all her ideas in the previous book and conversations with cohost. And There was nothing new or developed in these ideas . if anything it was more bitter and horrible and seem to say that anyone following anything like a society convention is silly and self Absorbed. It threw so much shade at women in relationships and hen dos that it made it uncomfortable to Listen to as it just sounded bitter. I really wanted more depth from the author than this and for her character to be less tearing down other women that were different to her and have some kind of character development... basically it’s a thinly veiled fictionalised everything I know about love. Harmless but essentially won’t make you feel good to listen to it and also very London centric so if you’ve never lived in the capital you may find it quite alienating.

3 people found this helpful

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Good

Overall I really liked this. There were parts when it felt quite slow and there was a terrible cliched event near the end, but I love Dolly's writing and wonderfully perceptive, touching and funny observations. The narration was good apart from a few bits when her voice was so loud it was unpleasant to listen to (couldn't turn it down as then couldn't hear quieter charcter voices between the very very loud ones).

1 person found this helpful

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A classic chick lit

Very weak attempt at modern day Bridget Jones. Highly unlikable characters, annoying dialogues and a simple storyline. A beach read.

1 person found this helpful

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Pleasantly surprised

I really liked the feminist slant, the exploration of female friendship, and the dementia plotline.

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I really wanted to love this book.....

Having read “Everything I know about love” and loved it, I was really looking forward to “Ghosts” but sadly I was disappointed. I found the characters (apart from her Dad) were all really unlikeable. The main character’s attitude to women in any circumstances different to her own, seemed snide and condescending - the hen do, her mother, her friends who were new parents.... I did enjoy the parts of the story that concerned her dad but felt her attitude to her mum lacked any understanding. The plumby tones of Hermione Granger’s narration, along with one of the character’s dismay of Cava being served at a wedding after the initial glass of champagne had run out, just added to the feeling of alienation as a reader albeit from a ‘world’ that I wouldn’t really want to be a part of anyway. If you are single, well off and in your 30s then this book may be for you. It wasn’t for me.

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Perfection

Dolly is able to articulate exactly what it’s like to be a millennial woman in your late 20s/early 30s. At a point in our lives when the lives we share with our friends no longer run in parallel, and seem to fork off in different directions, Dolly’s observations and eloquence give us insight and empathy to both sides of the wall. Whether you are single or married or starting a family, Dolly will help you better understand what life is like for our friends with lives that suddenly seem so far from ours, and will help bridge the gap between them.

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LOVED THIS

Dolly Alderton has SUCH A GOOD insight into the human psyche. The book feels relevant, heartfelt and human. I didn't want it to end! Loved the performance of the audiobook too.

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Loved it

I found this story totally addictive. I devoured it in a couple of days. I love Dolly’s use of language, I had to re listen to some of her astute and beautifully written observations. I felt the book was not too dissimilar to Eleanor Oliphant- we see the world the through an over thinking protagonist’s eyes, however Nina isn’t quite as likeable as Eleanor and I found some of her thoughts on marriage and ‘settling down’ extremely judgemental and grating at times. After completing the book though I felt that I had warmed to her and that I understood the reasons behind some of her judgments on married people with children. Narration was very good on the whole, though I thought it was a strange choice of accent for Lola, her voice didn’t seem to match the description of her at all! I did feel it added to the humour of the character though- she was by far my favourite character! Overall a really good modern story for millennial women!

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A Modern Day Real-Life Love Story

The narrator brings this book and its characters to life, so much so that I messaged my best friend in the second chapter saying "this book is us! This is us!" Talking about inclusion, ghosting, hateful fucks, career changes, candid descriptions of adult friendships, it hit every point, so much so that I feel less alone. Please read.

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Marvellous

My first Dolly Alderton book and I’ve loved it. The story was strong and the flow of themes were beautifully presented. I found it moving and thought provoking. Highly recommend. The narration was excellent and I have admiration for those who commit to such an involved task.