A friend loaned me The Hare With Amber Eyes, by Edmund de Waal. This is a fascinating family memoir, as the author traces the history of a collection of Japanese netsuke that have come to him as an inheritance.
The story is breathtaking in its scope – ranging from the Paris of the Impressionist painters and their wealthy patrons, Vienna from the empire of Franz Joseph through two World Wars, a country house in the Slovak countryside, occupied post-war Japan, and finally ending at the family’s original home in Odessa. It’s the kind of book that leaves you with a lot to think about – I almost wish I’d read it in a book group. I am now tracking down another book written by the author’s grandmother – a novel based on her experiences returning to Vienna after the war to try to track down her family’s lost possessions.