Marly’s Ghost by David Levithan

Ben’s girlfriend, Marly, died four months ago and he is left angry and bitter and anti-love. He rejects efforts by his friends to help him cope with his pain and to move on with his life. As Valentine’s Day approaches and love is in the air, his bitterness increases and he lashes out at the people around him, ridiculing love and relationships. He has become a Scrooge where love is concerned. As he sits at home, he is visited by the ghost of Marly. Marly wants Ben to remember her but her spirit is weighed down by his inability to move on in his life and so she has arranged for three spirits to visit him – the Ghost of Love Past, The Ghost of Love Present and the Ghost of Love Future.

The book is based on the novel A Christmas Carol by Dickens. Where Scrooge was selfish and money obsessed, Ben has become selfish because of his refusal to move on with life and his need to destroy the love and dreams of others. Ben has confused the importance of remembering a person who dies with the need to hold on to the past. A thoughtful book which considers the meaning of love and the pain of losing love.


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