The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal

About the book

264 wood and ivory carvings, none of them bigger than a matchbox: Edmund de Waal was entranced when he first encountered the collection in his great uncle Iggie’s Tokyo apartment. When he later inherited the ‘netsuke’, they unlocked a story far larger and more dramatic than he could ever have imagined. From a burgeoning empire in Odessa to fin de siecle Paris, from occupied Vienna to Tokyo, Edmund de Waal traces the netsuke’s journey through generations of his remarkable family against the backdrop of a tumultuous century.

Reviewed by King’s Somborne Reading Group:

Slow beginning but well worth persevering with. A beautiful evocation of a family and the times they lived in, of European history and the position of Jews. Written with a charmingly lucid style. Intricate, intoxicating, enthralling and revealing. The majority of the group awarded it top marks.

Rating: 5 Stars

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4 thoughts on “The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal”

  1. Review by CC Readers
    Enjoyed by all – a cultural and historical treat. Required concentration but we were rewarded by a journey back through periods of history that have changed Europe and the world.
    Star rating: ****


  2. Review By In Sync
    Mixed feelings – some liked it and finished it, finding the family history interesting. Others didn’t like the prose style and found it tedious, especially where it was overly detailed.
    *** 3 stars


  3. Review by Goodworth Clatford WI
    Difficult to get into but a very good read once we persevered. It was vivid and informative, particularly about the Anschluss in Vienna. We all felt we learned a lot.
    Star rating: ****


  4. Fareham 5:30 Reading Group
    This book had a mixed recep[tion: from hatred to “OK”. Some liked the art history and details of the pictures, the international scale. Others found it dry, humour-less, self-indulgent. It came across as a sucession of facts, and we didn’t care for the characters – because we never came to know them. Many of us skim-read this, or didn’t finish.
    0 -2 stars


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