Being ghosted is the ultimate silent treatment. It’s strange when it happens to us, whether we’re on the receiving end of being ghosted by friends or love interests. It leaves a feeling of confusion and loss, and even embarrassment. The questions loom overhead: What did I say? Why don’t they want to respond to me? Did they get my message? Surely, they can’t just be ignoring me. It’s a struggle to understand why this has happened. Ghosted: A novel by Rosie Walsh explores that topic in her intriguing and beautifully written novel.

Sarah Mackey has just met the love of her life. In her 40s, and on the verge of a divorce, Sarah meets Eddie David, in the one place she never thought to find love: her hometown in England. Sarah and Eddie spend six wonderful days together. But, alas, it cannot last, because Sarah’s work and Eddie’s planned vacation are pulling them in two different directions. They make plans to meet each other’s families and promises to find a way to live together, even though Sarah is just visiting from Los Angeles. When Sarah returns from her work event, eager for Eddie’s flight information so she can pick him up, she’s surprised that he hasn’t responded. It’s unexpected. Didn’t they just promise to spend the rest of their lives together?

Sarah doesn’t hear from Eddie again: no response to texts or calls or even calls on his work phone. The line still rings, so it’s not like he’s changed his number. There are no updates on Facebook either, Eddie hasn’t been visible online in weeks. What happened? Convinced that their week together was special, Sarah refuses to believe Eddie would have ghosted her. Something must have happened, something serious. He must be in trouble, or hurt, or – dead? Her friends try to keep Sarah calm and reassure her that Eddie is probably not hurt, but Sarah is so overwhelmed with grief that she feels like she is in mourning. Sarah won’t stop trying to contact Eddie until she finds out what happened to him.

Sarah herself is a very complex character, carrying her pain and simultaneously trying to maintain her leadership in a charity she runs alongside her soon-to-be ex-husband. She is a transplant from England, now living in L.A. We are introduced to her work life, colleagues, and friends and then again to her British friends and family, and the contrasts in each group. The author perfectly captured the L.A./beach-life scene and at the same time, I could easily imagine laying under the stars in a small town in England as well. The love story between Sarah and Eddie is beautiful. The conversations they had made me smile and laugh. As each day of their short one-week lived relationship was revealed, I started to believe Sarah’s claims. She and Eddie were ready to take a next step and there was no way Eddie would just abandon her.

I finished this book in about two days. Half of myself was mad with wanting to know what happened and the other half wanted redemption and closure for Sarah. With all the information available to us, surely, there would be some way to track down his whereabouts? One thing I found confusing was that Sarah didn’t go back to his house to look for him. She had spent a week there, surely he would be home and she would get her answer? Was that too much to wish? Maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s all those cozy mysteries I read with nosy amateur sleuths, but I feel like that would have been my first move if I thought something serious happened. Ghosted is a romantic mystery, different from the usual mysteries I read and I loved it. I highly recommend this book.

Cost: $0.00 on Overdrive

Drink of Choice: Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Latte

Now 2018 has come and gone. I ended the year one book short of my Goodreads goal, reading just 24 books in 2018 instead of 25. I blame that on picking up East of Eden with only two weeks left in the year. John Steinbeck’s epic novel spans over 500 pages in paperback and it would take some time to get through it. Toss in the holidays and there just wasn’t enough time to finish it. Of all the books I read last year, there were two amazing books that absolutely stood out and I highly recommend reading.

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Maybe if I cradle myself in this rocking chair, back and forth, and tell myself that I am the first and best Audrina, I will capture her special gifts. My hollow brain will fill with her memories and then my family will love me like they loved her. These thoughts aren’t my own, but of the main character in My Sweet Audrina, written by the master of frightening family sagas: V. C. Andrews.

My V.C. Andrews shelf

My V.C. Andrews shelf

My Sweet Audrina is the latest V.C. Andrews novel to be transformed into film. In January 2014, the Lifetime channel aired a new version of Flowers in the Attic, the first novel in the Dollanganger series, and I couldn’t wait to watch it. I put it on my calendar and set my DVR, even though I watched it while it recorded. Three more movies in the series followed.

When I first learned that these movies were being filmed, I was ecstatic. These were books that I have loved and read over and over for years and finally, they were coming to life on screen. Characters whose voices I’ve only heard in my head would now have a face. V.C. Andrews fans have heard this all before: some company is considering producing a movie or a series based on her novels, but the project is never picked up. There have so many rumors and failed attempts in the past.

I can see why. Her work isn’t your standard horror fiction. Each novel features strong women that find their own way, their own destinies, despite the obstacles. There are family secrets and devastating truths, betrayal, and more often than not — forbidden family relationships (you know, the “I” word).

My Sweet Audrina is one of the more twisted tales, one that never fails to give me nightmares whenever I re-read it. Andrews’ first standalone novel is a concentrated version of her series. Audrina is a little girl that yearns to become like her older sister, the first and best Audrina, the one who mysteriously died in the woods just outside her house, nine years earlier. The “second and worst” Audrina is forced into a rocking chair every night by her grieving father, who wants her to capture the gifts that her dead sister no longer needs. She is isolated in a home where all the clocks are set at different times, there are no current magazines or calendars and when each day seems like a week has gone by. There’s something suspicious going on and Audrina is determined to uncover the secret.

The cast of characters includes: Audrina’s mother, Aunt Ellsbeth and her illegitimate daughter, Vera, and the tenants, a former championship figure skater turned amputee and her hardworking son.

According to The Complete V.C. Andrews, the latest news is that My Sweet Audrina is in the editing stage. Lifetime might air the movie as early as this fall! It’s a good time to be a V.C. Andrews fan.