Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Alison reviews My Grandfather’s Eyes by @BevSpice

Today’s team review is from Alison, she blogs at


Alison chose to read and review My Grandfather’s Eyes by Bev Spicer


My Grandfather’s Eyes by B.A. Spicer

Alex Crane is the narrator of this dark, clever and extremely well-written book. This novel is completely different o anything I have read for a long time, disturbing and fascinating, Alex’s story is one that tests your sympathies to the limit.

Alex has moles. This might seem a simple thing but they, in some way, define her. She bears them proudly, refusing to be ashamed, refusing to accept the place in society that they should, in others eyes, confine her to. Her mother’s revulsion shapes her too and she grows up to love with passion, particularly her best friend Lizzie, who remains frustratingly out of reach, and to disdain, or at least discount, those who don’t rouse this passion in her – her weak father, her obliging husband, for example.

She loved her grandfather though and has a sort of grudging respect for her grandmother. It is her grandparent’s history, intertwined with her parent’s past, that becomes a source of fascination for Alex – the mystery at the heart of it revealing aspects of her grandmother that are within Alex too.

The first person narration places you, uncomfortably at times, in Alex’s world, with her skewed ideas of right and wrong. But, despite the things she does and thinks, I don’t hate her. I’m not sure that I like her, but I do, to an extent, understand her. And this is where the talent and the skill of the writer show. It’s hard to have the ‘hero’ of your story someone who should be the villain and even harder to write that character in such a way that your reader isn’t completely turned off. The author has managed to do that and the result is a book that’s hard to put down, beautifully crafted and compelling.

My only complaint? Without giving too much away, I would have liked to have known more about Alex’s grandparents and the effects of the Mexico trip. Although this was touched on, I would have liked more details.

Apart from this very minor point, I totally recommend this.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Chris reviews My Grandfather’s Eyes by Bev Spicer


Today we have a review from team member Chris,


Chris chose to read and review My Grandfather’s Eyes by Bev Spicer


My Grandfather’s Eyes is an interesting read, drawing you into the life of an extremely unlikeable protagonist and her equally unlikeable family and friends.

Alex Crane is scheming, uncaring and lacking a conscience. The moles on her face are cited as the reason for her disdain for almost everyone and everything, but her self-centred and calculating nature have a deeper cause. When faced with news of her husband’s death, all Alex worries about is what he told the doctors. When faced with the past, all Alex cares about is the elusive Lizzy. And when faced with her family, all Alex cares about is uncovering the family secret that has laid buried, regardless of the consequences.

The book juxtaposes two strands of Alex’s life, so that her childhood days are weaved into the story set in the present. The language is rich, the point of view intimate, the characters intriguing and the plot wholesome. The author has managed to create an obnoxious, selfish character that’s both believable and engaging. Unfortunately, the pacing of the story was too slow for me, which made my reading experience less enjoyable than I would have hoped and so I can only give it a 3* rating. But if you enjoy slow-burners, please don’t let me put you off.

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Cathy reviews My Grandfather’s Eyes by Bev Spicer

Today’s review comes from Cathy, she blogs at


Cathy chose to read and review My Grandfather’s Eyes by Bev Spicer


Alex’s story is told, in the first person and present tense and draws the reader into her world of extremely well drawn and distinct, albeit not always likeable, characters that surround her. The narrative begins with the death of Alex’s grandfather, his funeral and the first signs that maybe something about this family is slightly skewed. The heated words Alex overhears exchanged between her mother and father later that night unnerve her although she’s not sure why.

And then, back to the present where Alex’s husband, Richard, is in hospital in a critical condition as Alex waits for news. Thereafter the timeline alternates between past and present giving an insight into Alex’s sometimes irrational thoughts and feelings, or rather the lack of them, since she was a young child.

Alex’s physical appearance, and how it affects herself and others, may have sown the seeds for her heartless, and sometimes callous, behaviour but whatever the reason there are only two people she loves; her grandfather and her best friend since childhood, Lizzy. She selfishly manipulates situations and people, without conscience, to achieve her own desires regardless of any negative effects.

From the beginning of the story it’s apparent Alex has done something appalling but as the story progresses her cold and calculating nature becomes more and more obvious. It’s as though sentiments skim the surface, she does what is expected, and not much actually touches her. She’s always distant and detached and marries Richard with that same mindset, although he loves her deeply. Only her very strong feelings for Lizzy and her grandfather break through the barriers.

It’s an extraordinary novel, given the content, the original take on the main protagonist and making her mostly unlikable and difficult to warm to, as well as the excellent writing leading into ever more complex and multi layered plot lines. The family skeletons are revealed in such a way as to make reading compulsory with the need to know. And, although initially I felt some measure of sympathy for the young Alex, I couldn’t really maintain it. The characters are very well-developed and intertwined in an intensely powerful and dark psychological drama.

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