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  • Published: 20 July 2021
  • ISBN: 9780241988688
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $26.00


The bestselling razor-sharp debut novel by the author of Everything I Know About Love

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. 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.

  • Published: 20 July 2021
  • ISBN: 9780241988688
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $26.00

About the author

Dolly Alderton

Dolly Alderton is an award-winning author, screenwriter and journalist based in London. She is a columnist for The Sunday Times Style and has also written for GQ, Red, Marie Claire and Grazia. She is the former co-host and co-creator of the podcast The High Low. Her first book Everything I Know About Love became a top five Sunday Times bestseller in its first week of publication, won a National Book Award (UK) for Autobiography of the Year and was made into a BBC One TV Series. Ghosts, her first novel was published by Fig Tree in 2020. Dear Dolly, a collection of her agony aunt columns from the Sunday Times Style magazine, was also a Sunday Times bestseller.

Also by Dolly Alderton

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Praise for Ghosts

I love this book. It is wise, funny, tender and true, sharply-observed and utterly hilarious. Alderton's gift is always to give the mundane its beautiful due and in Ghosts, she manages to write a compulsively readable novel. Dolly Alderton's talent is phenomenal

Elizabeth Day

I loved it - Dolly Alderton has clearly mastered every form of writing. Which is a surprise to nobody

Candice Carty-Williams

Loved it from start to finish, really laugh out loud: well-written, packed with ideas and observations and so engaging I can't put it down

Philippa Perry

Such clever writing, wonderfully funny; fab characters and delightful details. Divine

Nina Stibbe

Utter BRILLIANCE. Dolly is such an insightful commentator on love, longing, friendship and emotional landscapes. I absolutely LOVED it!

Marian Keyes

I absolutely adored it. So clever and funny and such a treat. The pages really did turn themselves

Cathy Rentzenbrink

So brilliantly perceptive, packed with pin-sharp observations on every page. Dolly is such a fantastic writer

Jill Mansell

I loved it. Had me howling with laughter and recognition!

Bryony Gordon

Dolly Alderton's writing is incredibly intimate, tender, and observant. Ghosts is a fantastic novel about friendship, family, and love

Holliday Grainger

If you've ever been disappointed by a man it will vindicate every mixed-up emotion you've ever had about it

Laura Jane Williams

Hilariously cutting, but also sad and insightful. Reading Dolly's writing is like having one of those glorious girls night in, where you drink till the early hours - laughing, venting, and feeling warm and seen

Holly Bourne

Funny and insightful, it's a brilliant look at the way we can be haunted by doubts, memories and home


Witty, tender, big-hearted

Sainsbury’s Magazine

A few years ago, Alderton seamlessly taped into our psyches with her 2018 memoir Everything I Know About Love. Now she's back with that same signature wit and blistering honesty in her debut novel, Ghosts


A fascinating, perceptive look at what it means to be a thirty-something woman right here, right now . . . Sharply observed, sometimes tender, sometimes tart, Ghosts will resonate with so many women

Red, The Best Books to Read this October

Whip-smart . . . a heartwarming tale of family and friendship

Evening Standard

Alderton balances heartrending emotion with keen-eyed satire, displaying a flair for metaphor and comic set pieces

Mail on Sunday

Alderton masterfully exposes the hideous reality of dating in your 30s and how unfair it can be on women who enter the fray in honesty and hope. Hugely emotionally intelligent and often very funny. I adored it

Daily Mail

You know a book has hit the spot when you've decided before finishing which friend you're going to pass it to. The writer's skill at dissecting love and relationships translates seamlessly into fiction

Evening Standard

A stunning achievement: I was laughing out loud, doing my best a few minutes later not to burst into tears and then angry that it had all come to an end. So moving, so funny, so beautifully written and so poignant. Brilliant

Stanley Tucci

There are sharply skewered set pieces, but also tender observations . . . a promising, deftly written, often entertaining and poignant debut novel

Sunday Times

This brilliantly observed novel will make you nod, laugh and cry in recognition

The Sun

Dolly sums up life in your thirties with such wit, warmth and accuracy, you won't want it to end


Alderton has a talent for believability, realism and the knack to reach into the pages and pull out the characters onto the sofa next to you. Topical, relevant with a touch of tender humour


As warm-hearted, wise and observant as her bestseller Everything I Know About Love. In this heartfelt, funny and insightful tale, Alderton cleverly explores the way memories, doubts and home can haunt us

Sunday Express

Alderton explores the ideas of relationships, friendships, love, memory and the way in which we live in a beautifully written and poignantly powerful novel


A sharp-eyed debut . . . Tests the boundaries of what used to be called chick-lit


Stuffed full of insights and adroit observations . . . a masterpiece of modern manners. Alderton's life-enriching social anthropology will be the antidote for flagging spirits in the next lockdown' Spectator


Achingly relatable. A darkly funny-melancholic novel about the rich variety of relationships in our lives - and the importance of showing up for them


This modern love story has lashings of arch humour and gentle wisdom, and slides down as pleasingly as a slice of cake and a nice cuppa


Explores the ideas of relationships, friendships, love, memory and the way in which we live in a beautifully written and poignantly powerful novel


If you need a good rom-com escape, Dolly Alderton more than delivers in Ghosts. . . it's darker than Everything I Know About Love - but just as fantastically relatable

Vogue 12 of the Best Autumn Reads to Curl Up With Now

Witty, touching without ever being sentimental, hugely enjoyable

David Nicholls

It's incredibly moving. The idea of believing in everything and nothing in the same moment. The female friendships were beautifully drawn

Billie Piper

Ghosts is an absolute knock-out. Wickedly funny and, at turns, both cynical and sincere, Dolly Alderton's voice feels like your very favourite friend. I devoured it

Taylor Jenkins-Reid

Ghosts is wonderful. Funny, sharply observed, poignant, and full of truths about life and love and friendship.

Matt Haig

This is a lovely, funny, modern comedy of manners. It's shrewd and sharp

Russell T Davies, Instagram

This debut novel is a tender, effervescent and deliciously well-observed guide to the complexities of thirty-something life

Jane Shilling, The Daily Mail

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