Book Review: The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets by Kathleen Alcott

Disenchanted and creative, The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets is a surreal and thought-provoking debut.

Ida, Jackson and James. Together since before memory, they make a patchwork family whose lives flow and ebb like a body of water. Ida tells their story of childhood friendship, familial love and adult complications. Jackson suffers from somnambulism which becomes a catalyst for heartbreak.

This was a really unique book. I have never read a novel where a character, in this case Jackson, suffers from sleepwalking. I suffered from sleepwalking as a child and it can be very scary for the ones around you who are not sleeping. This book deals with the effect and aftermath left in the wake of Jackson’s adult somnambulism and how Ida deals with it.

Ida isn’t afraid to look in the mirror. Through her honest assessment of herself and others we get the true sense of who these people are, what binds them together and what threatens to part them.

There were many good quotes to reflect upon in this book. One of my favorites, which shows Ida’s understanding of her attributes that has both hindered and bound her relationship with Jackson, was “Since childhood I’ve spent my heart and words and a catalog of tiny, insignificant moments trying to merge with a bloodstream not mine.”

I do think the flow of the book was held up in some places which tempted me to skim. If you read this, don’t give in to temptation. You just might miss some relevant details.

All in all a great debut. I look forward to seeing what Kathleen Alcott has in store for us next.

View all my reviews

This book was provided for review by Netgalley.

View this book on Amazon: The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets

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One response to “Book Review: The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets by Kathleen Alcott

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