Suzy's Reviews > The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss

The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal
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's review
Apr 22, 12

it was amazing

It's rare that a book keeps me up late at night anymore, but I had to find out what happened to the netsuke and their owners. De Waal is their current heir, a ceramist who finds great meaning in objects of art and the life they take part in, the life they have of their own. First acquired by Charles Ephrussi in 19th century Paris (it is Charles standing all in black at Renoir's Boating Party...and it is Charles I come to love the most, although de Waal has a gift for making you care about all of his family members), we follow the netsuke through homes and lives that spanned continents. We learn how they were cared for, lost, and recovered through an act of selfless devotion. It is the history of the family...who lose their fortune, many of their lives, and their homes to the Nazis...and who recover little beyond the netsuke. What is home to an exiled and scattered people? What role can objects have in creating it? De Waal explores these questions and more with a persistence and grace that few writers match.

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