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The Girl with the Hazel Eyes

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  43 reviews
The beautiful island of Barbados, world-renowned for white sand beaches and tranquil blue seas, became the scene of an international crime in 1967. Forty years after Susan Taylor’s whistle-blowing novel, ‘The Unspeakable Truth’ became the most famous novel by any Caribbean author, she reaches out to a young writer to write her biography. Lia Davis has no idea why Susan wou ...more
Paperback, 251 pages
Published August 25th 2019 by Independently published
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  127 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Abbie | ab_reads
3.5 stars

Thank you @bajancallie for sending me a copy of your book to review, and for helping me visit Barbados for #abreadsaroundtheworld!
And I really did feel like I was there at times - this book is brimming with vivid descriptions of life in Barbados during the 50s and 60s, including the fight for independence, and Browning has a keen eye for sights, sounds and even tastes, evoking a nostalgic feel for somewhere I’ve never been.
The story is told via two timelines, which work well together,
Brown Girl Reading
My rating is actually 3,5 stars. Lia is summoned to Doral to listen to the story of Susan Taylor. She wrote a whistle-blowing novel called The Unspeakable Truth recounting the scandal and crimes committed fifty years earlier. The Girl with the Hazel Eyes is a sneak peek into life on the island of Barbados, which we hear all about through the stories that Susan Taylor tells Lia who will be writing a book of her life story. I enjoyed reading this story and learning about island life on Barbados. T ...more
Allison Thwaites
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me get this off my chest real quick, EFF WINSLOW!!! All waste man from now on name Winslow, all ah dem. Okay, back to regularly scheduled programming.

This book was a nice, summer read which I've been itching for.

What I liked - This book really gave me some insight into Barbados's independence movement. I admit I don't know much about Barbados's history, I just thought they got independence in 1962 like we did in Jamaica. Apparently not. The book felt like an immersive history lesson and I l
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: june2019
This is a debut novel written by a Barbadian author which was recently released. I adore the cover and the synopsis was enough to make me pick it up when it was free on Amazon.

With a similar scenario to The Thirteenth Tale, an established and reclusive author invites a young girl to hear her life story and publish the biography. The Girl with Hazel Eyes, has a dual timeline that flowed almost perfectly. From Susan Taylor’s telling we relive the halcyon days of pre-Independence Barbados until a
Ms. Woc Reader
Susan Taylor lived in a much different time then now when women were expected to birth babies, cook, and clean all day. Her father didn't even want to pay for her to go to school as she started to get older because he believed her place was in the kitchen and she didn't need to go to school for that. She has aspirations bigger than most women in her village and her light skin and light eyes give her an advantage. Her mother is her biggest advocate and puts away money quietly to save up for her s ...more
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes you read a historical fiction that you want to tell everyone to read. I learned something new while getting entertained. Watch my review here -> ...more
Never Without a Book
I am so happy I was able to add The Girl with the Hazel Eyes by Callie Browning to my summer of reading Caribbean TBR list. This novel centers on two women, Cordelia aka Lia & author Susan Taylor. Susan is ready to write her biography, so she reaches out Lia an aspiring writer to assist her. When Lia accepts she is over the moon for this opportunity to jump start her career.

As the story moves forward Lia learns that this “opportunity of a lifetime’ was not by chance. Something deeper and darker
Jennifer Pletcher
Susan Taylor is a recluse author who had to leave Barbados for the United States after she writes a novel that is a whistle blower on people running the new Barbados government in the 1960s. After 50 years, she thinks it is time to write her memoirs, so she hires a girl named Cordelia from Barbados to pen it for her. Cordelia agrees because she needs the money, so she flies to Susan's house in Florida to spend the next few months listening to Susan's life story. Susan has a tough skin and is off ...more
Francica Cornwall
Firstly, I have been to Barbados twice in recent years and this is the first time that I have read a book from there. What I liked about this book is that it gave an historical background of life on the island during colonialism, it spoke to the plight of the working class and the struggle for independence so apart from being very entertaining it had quite an educational element in it.

The book brought out issues of mental health which I think is still viewed in the way it was suggested in the bo
Tyesha Turner
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know I enjoy a book when I start and keep on reading til the end. This one took me 5 hrs.

Beautiful heart-rending story of the lives of Susan and Lia running invisibly in parallel lines on the common tracks of family, love, friendship, and home.

Set in Barbados (1950s and 1960s) and Florida (2015), flowing seamlessly between past and present, regrets and upsets, the seen and our ghosts trailing tirelessly. A young women gets the opportunity of a lifetime to serve as biographer for perhaps the m
Brooke Nuzie
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I’ve read about Barbados. I knew nothing about the history or culture, and I loved learning more. Lia and Susan’s dynamic was great, and I loved the short chapters of the present breaking up Susan’s story. I did see part of the ending coming, but in a “I knew it!” way rather than a “duh” way. I really really liked how the ending was presented and how everything was wrapped up (no spoilers though!)

Also, Winslow was the worst. I’m a sucker for the nice guy, and wanted to sha
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Girl With The Hazel Eyes by Callie Browning tells the story of Susan a whistle blower from Barbados, told through Lia, a young writer who has been summoned to tell Susan's story. The real story that no-one else knows.

The story follows Susan's past life and what led up to her needing Lia to tell the story of this mysterious and reclusive woman.

Callie Browning takes us back and forth between present and past and her descriptions are atmospheric. Her characters are vivid and you feel like a fly
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a way to end my 25 book challenge! This book was beautiful in every way! The shift between present day and the past had me on edge as Susan unfolded the happenings in her life that brought her from the Barbados to the U.S.
Browning used such angelic words as she described the unfortunate things that happened in Susan's life that even death, romantic affairs, and lost love flowed so beautifully. I love a book that ties all the loose ends and answers all the questions that draft in the reader
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book! Callie Browning’s writing will transport you to Barbados in the 1950’s-60’s and have smelling the good cooking and the way of life on the island. Susan’s story- from her friendships to her relationship with her mother to coming into womanhood- is one so many can relate to. Historical fiction filled with suspense that has you turning the pages and romance to break your heart.... if you loved When We Left Cuba or The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, this one is for you. ...more
Kimberly Quay
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. The story is interesting and kept me reading. I liked the flashbacks to Barbados. It was very good, and I highly recommend it!
Tre Berry
“...Rehashing these unpleasant memories is much like bathing oneself in ice water; it’s an interesting notion until you do it and everything starts to ache”

Sigh. I just finished this book and I’m quivering in emotion and drenched in tears. To say I found it to be a magnificent masterpiece is an understatement. For me, reading this was an experience. Like sitting in the yard, drinking a cold glass of iced tea listening to my great aunt share stories that shaped her life.

I’ve had this book on my
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, caribbean-lit
Back in June, during #ReadCaribbean, I saw this gorgeous book start popping up on my feed and immediately put it on my TBR. The Girl With Hazel Eyes by Callie Browning was originally released on Kindle (I am a bad at reading things on a screen), but I heard the paperback would be coming so held out for it. I was not disappointed!
I absolutely fell in love with the story of Lia, leaving her home in Barbados, to go to the US and write the biography of the reclusive whistleblower, Susan. Fifty y
Amanda Pierre
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I fell in love with this book because of how much I can relate to things mentioned throughout this story. Lia is a poor girl who dreams of becoming a writer. One day she receives a call from an unknown woman, who offers her the opportunity of a lifetime to go to the US and write her biography.⁣⁣
Lia soon learns that this woman is one of the most abhorring woman known throughout Barbados, due to a book she had once written called ‘The Unspeakable Truth’ which created political calamity throughou
IslandGirl Reads
“Men running the government. Men is de doctors and lawyers. But dm foolish because they can’t do it without them wives!” Excerpt from The Girl with the Hazel Eyes!

The setting is the tropical island of Barbados against a backdrop of sun, sea and beautiful brown people. Cordelia (known as Lia) was invited to write the biography of the infamous Author, Susan Taylor! The story alternates between Sudan’s life growing up on the island pre-independence and Lia’s experience in Florida getting to know th
Vanessa Vicente
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You want it? You got it all - rich in Barbadian culture, family drama, coming of age happiness and struggles, political plays, mental illness and romance that was all intriguing and beautifully executed.

If you want to sit down with a story that pulls you in with different dynamics, range of symbolic characters, and makes you emotional in highs of highs and the lows of lows, The Girl with the Hazel Eyes delivers.

Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely book. I read it in 3 sittings. I love the characters and storyline going from past to present. I also think that there could be a follow-up book of the main characters life and her mothers.
I loved how the writer delved in the politics of how a samll island became Independant, the things that had to be considered during this time etc. A nice easy read.
Rommel Bellamy
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was captivating and educational. It delivered an amazing mix of the full range of emotions. At times I felt angered by things some characters did and other times I laughed out loud at some scenes. Every single character had a strong pulse that resonated throughout the book and brought it to life. I look forward to reading more work from this author.
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So much to like about this book, especially as a self-published debut. Hope someone has snapped up the movie rights for a large sum!
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a beautiful book! Once you get into this book you won't be able to put it down. I enjoyed every bit of it.
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Highly recommend!!
Rilzy Adams
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I absolutely adored this book. The story was engaging, beautifully told and hit all the right notes. I fell in love with Lia but Susan stole the show. Definitely a book I will enjoy reading again.
Kelly Greaves
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this, but the ending was rushed.
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“...rehashing these memories is like bathing oneself in ice water, it’s an interesting notion until you do it and everything starts to ache”

Susan Taylor has been living in the USA after her whistle blowing novel resulted in her exile from her island home Barbados. She decides that 50 years later she is ready for her memoir to be written. She enlists broke Lia, a young Barbadian writer for the job. As she talks about her life Lisa realizes there’s more to her than her surface brashness and Susan
Bekah | Bekah’s Bookshelves Hosford
In Callie Browning's novel The Girl with the Hazel Eyes, a finalist in the JAAWP Caribbean Emerging Writer's Prize, Cordelia or Lia Davis wants nothing more than to be a best-selling author with book signings and major publishing deals. As a poor girl from Barbados, this dream seems out-of-reach until she receives a call from the assistant of the notorious Susan Taylor and is offered to be a coauthor for Miss Taylor's biography. In the islands, Susan's name is not highly revered. Her only novel, ...more
'The Girl with the Hazel Eyes' is a novel that at it's core is a parallel commentary about the coming of age of a young woman, Susan Taylor, and also Barbados gaining it's footing as a young independent country.

The story goes back and forth between the 1950s and '60s, when Susan was growing up and 2015 where she is telling her story to a young woman, Lia, who she has hired as a biographer.

What I liked most about the story was the picture the reader got of what life was like for the citizens in B
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