I read and reviewed ‘My Grandfather’s Eyes’ for Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team.
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.
Find a copy here.