The Silent Treatment: On Rosie Walsh’s ‘Ghosted’

Haley Searcy
Aug 11, 2018 · 4 min read

Rosie Walsh
Novel | 352 Pages | 6” x 9” | Reviewed: Paperback
9780525522775 | First Edition | $26.00
Pamela Dorman Books | New York City | BUY HERE

Image: Pamela Dorman Books.

“I went inside as the first silver forks of lightning reached down from the sky, unable to shake the sense that a crisis was looming.”

Sarah is a 40-year-old who runs a successful nonprofit with her ex-husband. Her life is relatively normal until she meets Eddie on a trip back to her hometown in England. They grew up in the same place and feel like they’ve known each other forever. After spending one week together, he completely ghosts her. No texts, no emails, no phone calls. Why did he disappear? And why does Sarah have such a bad feeling about it? Walsh’s Ghosted is a novel that explores ideas of love, youth, and figuring out how to be true to yourself and to your values at the same time.

“It was almost as if he were part of the valley, like an oak. Pieces of him would be flung into the wider world during season change or wild weather, but his core stayed in the earth. This earth, in this valley.”

Love (of all types) is a major theme within the novel. There is romantic love shown between Sarah and Eddie that is depicted in small, simple moments and flashbacks throughout the book. Their week of romance is heartwarming to read, which makes it all the more intense when he vanishes. There is also love between friends, whether lifelong or relatively recent. Sarah has wonderful friends who are there for her when Eddie disappears. They support her but also give her a reality check when things unfurl in an unexpected way. There is familial love shown between parents and siblings. Sarah and Eddie care so much about their families to the point that they put their own wants and needs aside for the sake of their loved ones.

Age is another important factor within the novel. Though Sarah is 40 and successful, she completely reverts back to the emotions of a teenager when she gets ghosted. She talks about him endlessly to her friends while trying to figure out where he went, and what she finds out is completely unexpected. The novel looks at how split-second decisions at a young age can haunt you for the rest of your life, regardless of whether you change your name, move to a new country, or start over completely. Every moment and every decision matters in the long run, which is something both Sarah and Eddie must face after meeting each other.

“What a relief to talk to someone who knew nothing of the sadness I was meant to be suffering. Who didn’t put his head sympathetically to one side when he talked to me. Who simply made me laugh.”

Walsh plays with different types of narratives; she switches the narrative voice between two characters, and goes back and forth between present moments and past moments. Some parts of the novel are written in epistolary form. It is a well-organized story, however, with so many twists that it is hard to put down. A great novel for anyone who wants a page-turning romance with a hint of mystery and comedy.

HALEY SEARCY is currently working toward a BS in Sociology with a concentration in Social Inequalities, as well as a minor in English. Her work has appeared in The Peel Literature & Arts Review, Body Parts Magazine, and Portraits in Ink.

The Coil

Literature to change your lightbulb.

Haley Searcy

Written by

Studying Sociology and English at Appalachian State University.

The Coil

The Coil

Literature to change your lightbulb.