The Alphabet of Heart’s Desire Review

Book Reviews

The Alphabet of Heart’s Desire

Book Cover via Amazon

The Alphabet of Heart’s Desire
Author: Brian Keaney
Genre: historical fiction
Pre- order/ buy from: Amazon

The Alphabet of Heart’s Desire all started with this:

My library copy

I got Confessions of An English Opium Eater from my library one day, because I was curious and honestly thought that I should return to reading some good quality literature. I only read it half halfheartedly, because I really hate classics. After reading Thomas De Quincey’s famous work, I stumbled across The Alphabet of Heart’s Desire in Netgalley. Hence, I was interested, even if it is just a fictional character. I got it after requesting the book, so yay me.

The Character

No, Thomas did not feature much in the book. Ann starts off with her childhood, and how she had managed to become a prostitute. Her predicament is quite common back in those days, but it was her resilience that shines. Ann has to work with what she was given, yet she does not complain. The story also has a secondary character name Tuah, which is actually Malaysian/ Indonesian for lucky. I guess the irony is there, because Tuah was kidnapped and made into a slave in the good ol’ times.

The story goes chronologically, so it is obvious how Ann comes first, then Tuah’s narrative comes later. Thomas de Quincey, the guy who made the story possible, only shows up near the end. From lousy parents to opportunistic merchants, The Alphabet of Heart’s Desire reminds me that I am kind of lucky to be in this century. Not only because sickness was rife, there were not much freedom and power for women back in those days.

The Story

It is more like Ann’s fictional biography, how she got looked on opium/ laudanum. The only thing that I find inconsistent, is that the author chooses to write in present language. People in 1802 do not speak nor write the same was as we do. I only expected the conversations to be so, because reading the whole thing in Thomas’ era was quite a struggle for me. In the end, that was how I remember that Ann is not real, not in this book. So that was a little bummer for me, even though it was easier to read and understand.


A fan of Thomas De Quincey? Read The Alphabet of Heart's Desire, where his friend stars in the historical fiction Click To Tweet

This has to be a fan-fiction kind of story, it is obvious to me that the author loves Confessions of An English Opium Eater. The story and narrative might be sound, but it was the language that made me a little bit disappointed with the book.

Copyright © 2017 Ailyn Writes. All Rights Reserved.

4 thoughts on “The Alphabet of Heart’s Desire Review

  1. I really enjoy the classics but usually by female authors. I find they’re a lot easier to understand in terms of language and not nearly as pretentious. Using the modern day terms probably appeals yo a wider audience but completely agree, it doesn’t feel as authentic does it. Still glad you were able yo enjoy this one regardless Ailyn, great review! <3

Comments are closed.