Grandmother, with her strong, lined face and bare apartment sketched in soft charcoal lines that just barely emerge from the page, with her ""brass bed like gold in the morning"" and her ""photographs and scrapbooks,"" is likely to remind you of Great-great-aunt Dew and her Hundred Penny Box. The memoir is set back in the time of the author's own childhood but the distancing heightens the power of Grandmother memory which works as selectively as a thunderbolt. Poring over the old scrapbooks, she tells her grandson about ""your Grandmother Nickols. She skinned a cat and boiled him alive. . ,"" about Miss Carroll who burned to death--""The devil came through the walls of her apartment and took her soul because the Lord did not allow anyone to iron on Sunday""--and about his own father--""Your father died after you were born, and when you cried he would hit you on the bottom."" Grandmother puts some starch into an otherwise soft-focus remembrance, and though grown-up readers might be more susceptible to the nostalgic mood some younger readers may be drawn to the old woman's steel-eyed visions.