6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Narrow sphere of interest but engagingly written,
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This review is from: The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance (Paperback)
I rarely abandon a book. Having battled to about half way i started skimming then gave up. The narrative is engaging and the writing of high quality. However the subject is of limited interest to the general reader and it amazes me that this book has been so popular. In addition, although there is evidently a modicum of primary source material available to the author I found myself questioning many of the descriptive sections as probably pure speculation. How can he be sure that the Ephrussi children played with the netsuke in their mothers boudoir? In fact the majority of the personalisation sections describing family life read like an attempt to create a novel within a framework of historical facts. This just did not work for me. Not having any idea of the content other than the subject matter of the netsuke, i was very disappointed about the lack of history of the making of the netsuke themselves which is only paid lip service to early in the book. Perhaps one of my problems is that i have rad this book sandwiched between two of Lawrence Durrel's island trilogy. His prose and ability to capture the people and culture of his subject island are second to none, and alas for all of his qualities Edmund de Waal fails to reach anywhere near these heights in the half of his book that i managed. Sorry.