My Grandfather’s Eyes by B.A. Spicer

The first thing to say about My Grandfather’s Eyes is that it’s a most unusual and original novel. The second thing is once you start reading it you can’t stop. It’s a fascinating and intriguing story that explores some of the less attractive aspects of human nature. The protagonist is Alex Crane who must surely be a contender for one of the most selfish, self-centred and egotistical characters of twenty first century fiction so far. The remarkable thing is that even though she is such an unpleasant character her story is completely riveting and you become totally absorbed in her life. You learn early on about her ‘nevi’ and speculate constantly as to the role they have played in the development of her personality.

It is difficult to comment about the plot without giving something away that will spoil the surprises, of which there are many. The twists and turns as the story develops are complex and even when you correctly guess where the plot is going something unpredictable happens which throws you off balance.

The author handles time really well. The novel starts at the present and goes back to various times in Alex’s life which she re-lives or rehearses again but the juxtaposition of various parts of her past with other parts of her past and also with the present gives the novel its drive and energy.

When Alex is in her childhood the writing style reflects her immaturity and it gradually changes as she gets older. Consequently you feel as though you know her really well and as the novel moves towards its denouement you understand what she is feeling.

The ending is shockingly revelatory as you think you have got to the end before you find there is actually a bit more. The novel is cleverly constructed. The contrasting episodes from different parts of Alex’s life inform the reader’s understanding of her relationships with family, husband, extended family, colleagues and her special friend.

Essentially My Grandfather’s Eyes is a love story but not of the conventional kind. There is so much in this novel with a variety of sub-plots all of which interlink with the unfolding story of Alex’s life.

If you’ve read any of Bev (B.A.) Spicer’s other books you will know what a good writer she is. (Check out my reviews of Bunny on a Bike and Angels earlier in the blog). 

My Grandfather’s Eyes affirms every opinion I have about the excellence of her writing. Apart from a few editorial glitches in one part of the book this a novel of the very highest quality and well deserving of five stars or more.

Get details of all B.A. (Bev) Spicer's books on her author page at Amazon UK or US.