Book Review : The Man Who Didn’t Call by Rosie Walsh

 

The Man Who Didn't Call

 

I picked this book up in Exclusives because there was a special and I thought it might provide good blog matter. Heat Magazine also said : ‘ If there is one book you read this year – make it this one’ . NEVER trust dubious sources like trash mags, that’s all I’ll say on that matter. And thank goodness I’ve also read another 16 books this year.

As you may have guessed from the incredibly descriptive title, The Man Who Didn’t Call is the story of just that. Let me provide some background. Sarah is a late-something Brit expat living in LA, who has temporarily returned to her family home in Gloucestershire for a visit following the end of her marriage. Out on a walk one day she bumps into Eddie. There is an incident with a sheep (don’t ask. But get your mind out of the gutter, not all Brits enjoy getting up close and personal with farmyard animals) followed by an afternoon of day drinking. Anyway, one thing leads to another and they end up spending seven blissful, passion-filled days together. After which he sets off on a holiday, or so he says.

Naturally, seeing as they’ve been inseparable for seven days sharing some deep and meaningful connection, Sarah fully expects to hear from Eddie in the interim. But after leaving for the airport there is not a peep from Eddie. Nothing. But he seemed like such a solid guy – loved his mum, made furniture in a barn and he could even bake bread. CARBS – what more could a girl want?  Anyway, time goes by…weeks and weeks. Still no response. She calls, texts, FB messenger – she can see the blue ticks, so she knows he is alive and he has seen her messages. Maybe he found out all her dirty little secrets? Why else would he not reply? Ugh.

Her friends eventually get tired of her constant whining and one suggests she put a post on his Facebook wall asking his network whether he has made contact (unhinged much?!). Sarah goes from bad worse. And turns out that being from a small village (much like our beloved Cape Town) everyone knows everyone and Sarah and Eddie actually have a connection that goes way back.  A connection that no amount of time apart or running off across the pond can undo. Is it good? Is it bad? You’ll have to read it to find out. Although I wouldn’t spend cash money on the book – so try to find a pirated e-copy or borrow it from a friend.

The Man Who Never Called  is presented as a story about ghosting which is very relevant in the world of modern dating as we know it now. Thanks to the anonymity offered by dating apps and the internet in general, we’ve all become very much OK from having either a few dates or even just a couple of online conversations with someone and realising its not going anywhere or that you got what you came for, vanishing without a trace. No explanations needed. After all, do we really owe anything to randoms we meet on the internet? Not really. Who is going to hold us accountable? In most cases there are no mutual friends of family involved to call you out on your bad behavior. So, yes ghosting happens.

And it can’t be hurtful especially if you were developing feelings for a person. If you are the party of the receiving end of such a cruel move, there is no doubt you’ll spend endless days wondering what you did wrong. Was it something you said/did? Did their ex come back into their life? Do they have a secret family hidden away? The possibilities are endless and it can be a real mind f*ck . Eventually though, you have to come to terms with it. You reason with yourself. Realise they weren’t such a nice person, you weren’t compatible as a couple, or you just meet someone else and move on with your life? Regardless of the reason, it isn’t a nice thing to have to go through.

This is not actually what the story is about at all when it comes to the saga of Sarah and Eddie. Turns out he has a pretty legit reason for ‘ghosting’ her and in fact her unhinged actions do have the intended impact on helping the couple reconnect. But stories like this give people false hope because they let people believe that ‘ghosting’ can be justified and that one of those crazy thoughts the run through our minds as the 100th message goes unnoticed could in fact be true. All in all, the story is pretty unrealistic so I’m doubting the author did much background research into this element of modern romance.

Beyond that, the writing and structure of the book is OK….at parts you start to think the book is predictable but it it’s not quite. There are a fair few interesting subplots that keep things entertaining but I don’t think you really get to grips with any of the characters as such. All in all, while its not the worst form of chick-lit ever, it had the potential to tackle a contemporary issue but instead in minimized it.

Alright Rinsers. Have you read Rosie Walsh’s book The Man Who Didn’t Call? Did you like it? Have you ever been ghosted? Did you did you get over it? Or are they still days you wonder about what could have been? On the flip, have you ever ghosted someone? Do you think there is ever a justifiable reason for ghosting another human? Talk to me in the comments below. 

 

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2 comments

  1. It sounds like a socially irresponsible book! Sure, a lot of chick-lit and romance novels just sell you books about things you want to hear but hope’s already part of the reason why women and men dwell on people who’ve ghosted them… People ghost for a number of reasons but if someone doesn’t care to explain why he’s lost interest then the last thing a person should do is to chase them.
    Sure, it could give someone some closure but let’s be honest – no one likes to tell the uncomfortable truth. Just like you didn’t want to tell your “sympathy fuck” guy you don’t fancy him straight other people don’t want to say “I don’t fancy you anymore” or whatever. Because it just gets awkward… I’m just remembering all the uncomfortable conversations with guys who wanted me off their back and guys I wanted off my back. It’s tough! There can be a million of reasons why people don’t fancy someone (anymore) and many are difficult to put in words.
    My Italian stallion, when I was complaining about the Italian guy who ghosted me after I spent 50 BLOODY HOURS on a train to get to him, told me “He didn’t want to see you because he didn’t want to see you”. I’ve heard similar words of wisdom from many male friends – if he wanted to talk to you he would have.
    So please, if anyone is reading it and being ghosted and you know that the ghost is alive let them go and f*ck themselves!

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  2. That’s exactly what irritated me. In most cases, with ghosting and even other relationships than end prematurely, you never really get closure. Sometimes ghosting is necessary because people don’t take a hint but I think in many cases its cowardly (and I’ve done it before too!). While I don’t think you are necessarily under any obligation to explain your reasoning (especially as it can lead to a whole host of other accusations) you should at least tell a person you aren’t interested, don’t want a relationship, etc….if they still carry on, go ahead and block them. And sure people all have their reasons for ending a relationship, but they usually tend to be quite basic – you lost interest, found someone else, got bored. This book made the reason behind the ghosting a BIG DEAL. It also legitimized it.

    It was disappointing because I think the subject matter is really relevant and it was a good basis for a story…. the author just did a really bad job of understanding the issue at hand.

    Like

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