Helen'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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Jul 29, 12

Read in March, 2012

Ok well this was definitely not what I was expecting! Don't both if you think its a story of intrigue or a romantic dynasty. It reads more like a documentory, all the characters and stories are told in 3rd person. Its a fairly dry account for a lot of the first half, but I did enjoy his voice, particularly as I collect netsuke and understood a lot of the jargon and art scene references. It was quite hard to read and often I couldn't work out what was factual history found by research and what was merely speculation - but my bet is you'll be Googling the meaning of lots of weird words! I guess it wasn't until midway along, when WWII broke out, that the real point of the book became clear and my interest was piqued. I enjoyed it much better from that point on and made more sense of why we had to have those earlier chapters. I liked it, but I didn't love it, there wasn't quite enough storyline, and I didn't feel I got to understand the characters introduced, or the author at any intimate level. The author had obviously spent a lot of time, travel and energy doing a huge amount of very detailed family history - and that was really remarkable what he found - but I wonder making it into a novel was a bit of an afterthought, as I found it without good flow or feeling.. And I only half-heartedly recommended it to fellow readers - maybe if you have a particular interest in history and art?
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