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."
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 is a financially successful accountant. 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 Alzheimer's 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.
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 fianc e 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.