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.
Alderton’s description of the men one meets on a dating app is hilariously accurate, no matter which side of the pond you’re on ... The interplay of ghosting and theft is also present in the book’s most powerful layer, which deals with an aging parent, slowly losing his mind, becoming a ghost ... Alderton brings her British wit and fresh writing to online dating and all its ups and downs. Marrieds vs. singles. The unfairness of online dating for women stressed about the tick of the biological clock. Add to it the difficulties of becoming a caregiver, and what you have is a book that is a reality check for many and a solace to those who feel like they’re constantly swiping right without meeting Mr. or Ms. Right.
Alderton’s skill at dissecting love and relationships translates seamlessly into fiction ... Alderton skewers the tribalism of online courtship brilliantly through Nina’s eyes ... The title of the book might be a reference to the cruel dating habit of ‘ghosting’ – when a person you’re seeing disappears very suddenly with no explanation – but really this is less a book about courtship than one about the tricky transitional phase of early thirties life, when friendship groups splinter and shift and life choices are put under the microscope. Alderton tackles it beautifully.
... occasionally, slightly laboured jokes undermine the overall comic force. Nevertheless, these comic turns often made me chuckle: the depiction of a hen do dominated by a passive-aggressive maid of honour is brilliant ... Max’s singular brand of cruelty and the novel’s other darker themes show Alderton’s writing at its strongest. The unnerving introduction of Nina’s threatening neighbour Angelo is a particular highlight. The depiction of her mother’s reaction to her new role as a carer – a brittle but steadfast denial that there is a problem – also makes for effectively unsettling reading that tests the boundaries of what used to be called chick-lit. It would be good to see this element of her writing – the difficult, the ambivalent – find an even fuller voice in Alderton’s subsequent novels.