Fresh, darkly funny and exceptionally moving . . . Ashworth folds grief and anger and love into every line.
Ghosted is deeply unsettling - Laurie is such a believable complex person, I couldn't look away from her life. It's also just so utterly compelling and funny. The writing is impeccable and the dark heart of the novel is uncomfortably human and relatable.
Dark, funny, thrilling and deeply human, Ghosted is a book that will haunt you forever, and you'll be glad. Jenn Ashworth is a master of modern storytelling.
A marvellous novel; thrumming with the absences and presences that can haunt a life, and shot through with flashes of great sadness and joy. If you don't know Jenn Ashworth's work already - which you should - this is a great place to start.
Ghosted perfectly captures the claustrophobia of living in your own mind. Ashworth's writing is both acerbic and insightful. She has created a protagonist who is as flawed and as interesting as most memorable people are.
A vivid, blackly funny and heartbreaking portrait of a marriage and the tiny and large hurts within it, how they wear at us and haunt us despite everything, but I found it beautifully hopeful too.
There are dark and alluring undercurrents to everything that Jenn Ashworth produces, and she has a brilliantly uncanny ability to unnerve at every turn. To me, her psychologically driven work ranks alongside such singular spiritual ancestors as Muriel Spark, Jean Rhys and Shirley Jackson.
This is a book to bring hope.
Unnerving, absorbing . . . Ashworth's setting is a small unnamed northwestern university city . . . a clever, gripping, refreshingly urban setting for a novel that plays with tropes from not just ghost stories but also murder mysteries . . . The mentally restless Laurie is a miraculous creation, somehow managing to be both a not entirely reliable narrator and yet solidly sympathetic. Piercingly human and darkly funny, Ghosted is a tender, beautifully controlled account of expectations knocked off course.
Since her 2009 debut A Kind of Intimacy, Jenn Ashworth has been quietly collecting honours for her distinctive, empathetic and sharply observed novels, of which Ghosted is another . . . She writes powerfully and movingly about lives shaped by need, love and loss, as well as the solipsism of ferocious grief.
Ghosts, buried trauma and lingering absences suffuse this darkly funny and compelling novel.
Tender, rude, funny, sad, moving, thrilling, heartbreaking, devastating. Perfect.
A revelatory portrait of a marriage. Although Laurie is acerbic and funny, this is an immeasurably sad read, aching with the unacknowledged grief of a complicated couple who have lost more than they can say.
From her debut novel, A Kind of Intimacy, Ashworth's work has explored physical discomfort, violence and sexual misadventure. She writes explicitly of physicality and its often petrifying opposite - disembodiment. There are moments in Ghosted that are at once terrifying and blackly humorous . . . an impressive reminder of the uneasy silence reverberating on the other side of grief.
Raw, darkly comic and moving
A brilliant 21st-century take on the Gothic: a woman, whose husband just vanishes, is left to the frantic silence of abandonment and virtual reality's eerie twilight. A seriously gifted writer surely due a big prize.
Stunning . . . Ghosted is a séance disguised as a novel.
Ashworth's writing is often referred to as "unnerving" and I wonder if that's because of her immense talent for honing in on our deepest fears.