The Hare with the Amber Eyes by Edmund De Waal is one of those magnificent stories that made me sigh at every turn.
I sighed with pleasure; I sighed with sorrow; I sighed with delight; I sighed with horror; I sighed with anticipation and I sighed with satisfaction.
I hugged this book to my chest. I sniffed the pages. I caressed the cover and poured over the photos and illustrations.
The Hare with the Amber Eyes was a full body experience!
The Ephrussi family were an amazing group of people.
Hard-working, well educated, socially connected. They embraced the times they lived in wholeheartedly - they mixed with artists, poets and politicians. They were collectors of books, art, furniture and property. They lived through some of the most extraordinary periods of history in some of the most extraordinary cities of the world.
De Waal's device of following the trail of the netsuke through the generations was a lovely way to provide this story with a structure and a purpose.
However this is not just another ramble through a family history. This is an extraordinary tale of family, love and loss.