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Beyond Surface Beauty: A Review of Eye of the Beholder by Emma Bamford

Sequel's Book Nook. photo of a girl reading

"Eye of the Beholder" by Emma Bamford promises an intriguing dive into the complexities of the beauty industry, wrapped in a mysterious narrative set amidst the Scottish Highlands. Yet, while the premise holds much potential, the execution falls short in delivering a truly captivating read.


eye of the beholder book cover

The story follows Maddy Wight, a ghostwriter tasked with penning the memoir of Dr. Angela Reynolds, a renowned cosmetic surgeon with a secretive past. As Maddy delves deeper into Angela's world, she finds herself entangled in a web of puzzling characters and unsettling occurrences at Angela's remote estate. With the eerie atmosphere of the Scottish moors adding to the suspense, the stage is set for a gripping tale.


However, despite the promising setup, the pacing of the narrative proves to be a major stumbling block. The initial chapters drag on, burdened by excessive exposition and a lack of significant plot progression. Maddy's characterization adds to the frustration, as her constant yearning for affection comes across as more melodramatic than empathetic.


It isn't until the latter part of the book, around the 80% mark, that the story gains momentum. As Maddy finally begins to put everything together, the pace finally quickens, offering some respite from the earlier sluggishness. Yet, by this point, the reader may find themselves more relieved than enthralled, having endured a prolonged wait for the narrative to find its footing.


Despite its shortcomings, "Eye of the Beholder" does manage to tie up loose ends with a satisfying conclusion. The resolution brings closure to the storylines and offers a glimmer of redemption for the characters. However, this redemption may come too little, too late for readers who have struggled through the preceding chapters.


In summary, "Eye of the Beholder" presents an intriguing premise marred by sluggish pacing and a protagonist whose struggles fail to resonate. While the book eventually finds its stride in the final stretch, it may require considerable patience from readers to reach the satisfying conclusion. Ultimately, while it may not offer anything particularly groundbreaking, those willing to endure the slow start may find solace in its ultimately uplifting resolution.

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