Book Review: Ghosts by Dolly Alderton

Last Updated on August 22, 2021 by Sophie

If you’re a fan of non-fiction aimed at twenty-something women, then no doubt you’ll have heard of the award-winning ‘Everything I Know About Love’. The part memoir part advice book is the manual for loving in your twenties and beyond, and the author, Dolly Alderton, has since released her first novel. Here’s a Ghosts by Dolly Alderton book review.


Summary of Ghosts

If the title character hadn’t been named ‘Nina,’ I might have been tempted to believe that Ghosts was the next autobiographical installation by Alderton herself. Indeed, the summary of the plot is that Nina is a 32 year old food writer living in London and who seemingly has the perfect life.

The perfect life online, that is. Nina is plagued with insecurities and relies on social media for validation; a theme that many of Alderton’s intended audience can likely relate to. As well as struggling with her drifting friendships, Nina has split up with her boyfriend, has money woes to the point of having to bring on lodgers into her home, and is endlessly swiping away for men online. Sadly, her father is also battling Alzheimer’s.

Things are seemingly looking up romantically when Nina meets Max thanks to a dating app. Everything is finally going a little smoother before Max promptly ghosts Nina… and that’s all of the story I’ll reveal for now without spoiling any other plot points!

book Ghosts review by Dolly Alderton

Genre: Fictional coming of age story

Much like Dolly Alderton’s previous work, Everything I Know About Love, Ghosts comes into the coming of age story category. Much of the book is devoted to romantic relationships, with a particular focus on relationships falling apart and fading away altogether.

In fact, you might be tempted to believe that ‘Ghosts’ is so-called because of the phenomenon of ghosting, but it’s actually so much more than that. Instead, Ghosts also explores friendships drifting apart, and most tragically of all, the ghosts of Nina’s former relationship with her father as his Alzheimer’s  progresses.

Who is Dolly Alderton?

Dolly Alderton is an award-winning journalist, as well as being the host of a podcast series called ‘The High Low,’ in which Alderton interviews guests regarding some of their most important and defining relationships. In terms of journalistic work, Alderton has written for the likes of The Telegraph, GQ, Red, and Marie Claire.

Who should read ‘Ghosts’?

Ghosts is for those who are looking for a fairly light read that can easily be finished over the course of a few hours. You could just as easily read it on your commute as on the beach on holiday. There is no difficult language, though you might find yourself welling up a bit (just as I did) in some of the more touching moments between Nina and her father.

I personally think it’s particularly pertinent to those in their twenties and thirties who are beginning to learn what #adulting really means. After all, the book has a lot of commentary about what makes a relationship important, the kinds of things we prioritise in our busy, modern-day lives (as opposed to what we should perhaps prioritise), and the importance of memories.

Star Rating for Ghosts


I really wanted to love this book a lot more than I did! Everything I Know About Love is easily one of the most touching books I’ve ever read – to the point where I’ve gifted it to many other friends in their twenties.

Though I really enjoyed the first few chapters of Ghosts by Dolly Alderton and devoured them quickly, I was always waiting for more ‘plot’ to develop. If you’re looking for some light, relatable reading, then this is the novel for you. Otherwise, I would try another book similar to Everything I Know About Love instead.

About Author

Sophie Nadeau is a travel, pizza, and history lover who is currently based in Paris, France. A keen indoor gardener, she spends her time at home reading books, looking at too many dog photos, and growing an indoor jungle in her tiny flat!