In brief: Sarah and Eddie meet in a small village and immediately go on to have the best week of their lives. But then Eddie doesn’t call. Or text. Or email. Why is he ghosting Sarah? She’s determined to find out.
The good: A really interesting setup and big, big feels in this novel.
The not-so-good: Another book I devoured when I had the flu.
Why I chose it: Thank you to Pan Macmillan for the copy.
Publisher: Mantle (Pan Macmillan)
Setting: England and California, USA
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Ghosted was a book that called to me (but not in a ghostlike way). I was intrigued by the title and also the cover, which doesn’t really suggest paranormal happenings. Instead, think of the title as being the modern interpretation of ‘ghosted’ – being ignored by every electronic means possible and in real life. It’s a pleasant read that is both heartbreaking and astonishing. I didn’t see the major plot twist coming!
Also known as The Man Who Didn’t Call in the UK, the story is about Sarah and Eddie. Even though she’s now based in California, Sarah comes back home to England every summer. Some of it’s great fun (time with her best friends Jo and Tommy) and some of it is like having teeth pulled (time with her parents). Sarah finds herself wandering around the local village one day when she meets Eddie (and a sheep, but that bit isn’t too important). She and Eddie hit it off straight away. Unfortunately, there is only a week before Sarah needs to head back to work and Eddie has a holiday planned. Reluctantly, they part and Eddie says he’ll call Sarah. This is when the ghosting starts, because Eddie just disappears into thin air. He doesn’t answer Sarah’s texts or calls. There hasn’t been any movement on his Facebook and even his work number and website isn’t doing anything. Why has Eddie suddenly changed his mind? And what lengths will Sarah go to just to find him again?
This novel is definitely not stalkerish. Yes, Sarah is desperate for an explanation from Eddie and frantically searching for a reason for why he cut her off but a rational part of her knows what she’s doing. This also brings friends Jo and Tommy on to the scene. Jo is a refreshingly witty and honest character who says what she thinks. Combined with son Rudi, they provide some comic relief to stop it all becoming too serious. That’s where I think Rosie Walsh has got the balance right with this book – the humour and the fact that Sarah is normally a high flyer stop this story from going into weird territory. It also helps that the characters are that bit older and can provide some wisdom and insight into their own actions. I certainly didn’t foresee the twist in the novel and the link between Eddie and Sarah. The link throws up even more moral dilemmas and a fair bit of angst once the pair realise what they have in common. Later, the story changes perspectives which was a little odd for me. I could understand why, and it did give a more rounded insight into both main characters, but it felt weird at first.
In between the main plot, there are some interesting subplots that kept me entertained. Like Sarah’s company that provides clown doctors to kids. There were some interesting insights into laughter and medicine. The issues facing the other characters were also various, ranging in their levels of heartbreak. Ghosted is a book that is all about the feels. There is a ton of emotion here plus a well-executed story.
I’m looking forward to more by Rosie, but for now I’ll look at her previous books, written under the name of Lucy Robinson (not the Neighbours character).