By: Rosie Walsh
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books/Viking
Publication Date: July 2018
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: August 2018
What happens when girl meets boy and the chemistry is spot on; yet the universe steps in and throws a devastating curve ball to the budding romance? Rosie Walsh takes on such a premise and treats her audience to an intriguing tale in her debut novel, Ghosted.
Sarah Mackey is back in England. It’s the anniversary of the life-changing and tragic occurrence from nineteen years earlier. It was a blistery, hot day in the English countryside. Sarah began to wander down that familiar path toward the village. Children played in the yard of the primary school and their innocent sounds were interrupted by the bleating sheep who’d lost its way. What caught her attention was the response from a male—a strong and certain ‘…BAAA, it shouted. BAAA!’ followed by laughter.
It was the laughter of Eddie David that captured Sarah’s interest. He was sitting with his back to Sarah and by the time she reached the green, it appeared man and beast were having a proper conversation with each other. She approached the stranger and gambled a simple ‘hello.’ After learning the sheep had performed a near-perfect escape from its rightful pasture, Eddie informed Sarah he knew from whence the sheep had come. It would be nearly an hour before his rightful owner would come to collect him. In all truth, Sarah had no plans of wandering down the hill let alone join this stranger for lunch at the pub. Yet, there was something in the way he smiled—his laugh; so charismatic. For the next six days, the two became inseparable. They were cocooned together with a solid connection and there was no coincidence that they were meant to be together forever. However, on the seventh day they would part ways due to a previous holiday Eddie had planned long before he met Sarah. Perhaps coincidence wasn’t the cupid that had connected the two. In the days following their separation, Eddie vanishes. Sarah cannot let it go and her friends are insistent she do just that. Was it as simple as Sarah being Ghosted or was there something deeper Sarah needed to explore before she could let go?
Rosie Walsh pens a novel that is far from predictable in the notion of girl meets boy and they live happily ever after. She continues to fold and build a plot with a multitude of twists and turns that entices her audience to continue to turn the pages. This is not a simple tale of a woman being dumped by a man who she thought was ‘the one.’ Rather, there is a solid plot of wonder and intrigue that builds on a premise of uncovering a painful truth and the challenge of the truth either setting one free or laying a foundation of what can be once the truth is uncovered. Walsh has a gift toward laying beautiful prose and narrative and complements both with descriptive scenery and credible dialogue. She nails the concept of being ‘dumped’ perfectly. Yet, she consistently goads the reader on with a sublime notion of: ‘maybe this isn’t how this love story is supposed to end after all.’ This was a captivating read and I applaud Ms. Walsh for her ability to hook her audience on the very first page and refuse to let them go until she decides it’s time to do so. Well done Ms. Walsh! I am a fan and look forward to your next book.
Quill says: Ghosted is a testament to seeking the truth no matter how painful the journey may be.