Hello and welcome to a new edition to my blog – Audiobook Spotlight! A large amount of what I’ve read this year has been in audiobook form. I love listening to audiobooks and have done since a child and I definitely think it counts as reading. As a result, I’ve been inspired to add a new feature reviewing audiobooks that I’ve read and loved.
Ghosts by Dolly Alderton
Publication Date: 15th October 2020
Publisher: Fig Tree
Narrator: Holliday Grainger
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Nina Dean has arrived at her early thirties 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 thirties 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.
After having read Alderton’s memoir Everything I Know About Love this summer and really enjoying it, I just had to give her latest a go. It became available through the digital library and I listened to it over the course of a week on my commute.
I must admit, at the start of the novel, I wasn’t all too convinced I was going to like it. It starts off with our protagonist, Nina, looking for love through an online dating app after leaving a long term relationship. I’m not a big fan of romance novels in general, but this book had so much more than that. As the title may suggest, Nina is eventually ghosted by this man that she falls hard in love with. Throughout the book, when he reappears on the scene, there was very much a will-they-won’t-they vibe which I really enjoyed and kept changing my point of view.
I found the book to be both hilarious and deeply touching. There are a number of really beautiful relationships between the characters, whether they be family or friends. I found the side story of Nina and her father who is slowly succumbing to Dementia to be incredibly moving and I feel the title also related to how he had become a “ghost” of his former self.
For me, the make or break of whether I am going to enjoy an audiobook is the narration. When I saw this one was narrated by Holliday Grainger, my heart soared – I know this actress from the BBC Strike adaptation of the books by Robert Galbraith where she plays the character Robin. She has a really expressive voice and really brought the character to life, conveying humour, sadness and personality with ease.
I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook!