Book Review: The Hare with Amber Eyes


As you can probably tell this is one well read book. I borrowed this from my mum who had picked it up from a charity shop, as you can probably tell from the price sticker! I was a little unsure about reading The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal but wanted to give it a shot as we were planning to visit the Turner Contemporary in Margate to view some of his work. I'm not sure why I was hesitant to start this book, other than it had been a while since I had read a biography style book. The Hare with Amber Eyes follows Edmund de Waals' search into his family history. It focuses on the Ephrussi family a wealthy banking dynasty and the journey of a collection of Japanese Netsuke, one of the few remaining items from the family's once vast art collection. You follow the story of the Ephrussi family from Odessa to Paris, Vienna and Japan, which create the different sections of the book.

I thought The Hare with Amber Eyes started a little slow, and I struggled to really get into the history and story. For the first half of the book I enjoyed reading it but I didn't get that feeling of not being able to put it down, that was until I reached the Vienna section. I felt that the Vienna part of the story had more of a focus and meant I had my nose firmly stuck in it until the end. The book was heartbreaking at times and had me close to tears at several occasions, especially when you find out the fate of the Netsuke and their personal journey. Edmund de Waal has a great writing style and The Hare with Amber Eyes is a great read which I would highly recommend.