Reviewed by Katya Rara
By Rosie Walsh
352 pp. Pamela Dorman Books.
Sarah Mackey is finally home again. Freshly separated from her husband of 16 years, she’s back in her hometown of Gloucestershire to do what she does every year: spend time with her aging parents, mourn the loss of the younger sister she lost years ago, and this time, get to know herself again.
Then she meets Eddie, a boy next door—man next door, really—who is grounded, funny, and more real than anyone she’s met in years. They spend one blissful week together before going their separate ways, promising to keep in touch until they see each other again. And then… nothing.
But just when Sarah has begun to think she’s overreacting, she learns that Eddie’s friends haven’t seen him either, and that something may have gone horribly wrong.
Ghosted begins with heartbreak
Honestly, I couldn’t help cringing when I first saw the title Ghosted. But look beyond the buzzword title and you’ll find that there’s more than meets the eye.
Ghosted opens with Sarah with her friends in the countryside as she worries about Eddie’s silent treatment, and follows her to her home in sunny Los Angeles. Chapters alternate between the present day and the strange, dreamlike week she and Eddie spent together. And later, we even see into Eddie’s head and learn all the things they never said.
As Walsh takes us through the day-to-day of Sarah’s life, she makes use of letters, Facebook messages, and even texts to weave the story together. And while these missives might seem gratuitous, even overly sentimental, at first, they bring Sarah and Eddie to life, far beyond what they know about each other.
A love story that’s about more than just romance
While Walsh struggles with her minor characters—neither they nor their character arcs feel compelling—she captures heartbreak in all its pain and irrationality. When Sarah tries to track Eddie down at football practice one evening, for example, it hits her: “Something is actually wrong with me,” she says. “People don’t do this.”
Walsh also manages to handle difficult family relationships. Secrets, mental health, and trauma all make an appearance, reminding us that heartbreak happens in many ways, to many people.
It takes you places you wouldn’t expect
I don’t read contemporary love stories often—I’m more of a period romance girl—and it took me a while to get into this book. But once I got a couple of chapters into Ghosted, I began to appreciate it… and even found myself genuinely teary-eyed at several points.
At its core, Ghosted is a simple story about love, family, and all the ways they can intersect. And while what Sarah or Eddie experience is extraordinary, the truths and emotions are universal enough for everyone to feel.
Ghosted by Rosie Walsh is available at Fully Booked stores and Fully Booked Online.
Katya has had a torrid romance with fiction for over two decades, and sneaks out in the middle of the day for clandestine rendezvous in cafés. She works in advertising and has four poodles. You can find her on Instagram @katerinarara.
[Thoughts and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Fully Booked. Then again, we love our authors anyway.]