Island Book's open book club meets the last Thursday of every month at 7:30pm. Our staff facilitator chooses both fiction and nonfiction titles. All are welcome to attend. This month's choice is The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal.
Edmund de Waal is a world-famous ceramicist. Having spent thirty
years making beautiful pots--which are then sold, collected, and handed
on--he has a particular sense of the secret lives of objects. When he
inherited a collection of 264 tiny Japanese wood and ivory carvings,
called netsuke, he wanted to know who had touched and held them, and how
the collection had managed to survive. And so begins this
extraordinarily moving memoir and detective story as de Waal discovers
both the story of the netsuke and of his family, the Ephrussis, over
five generations. A nineteenth-century banking dynasty in Paris and
Vienna, the Ephrussis were as rich and respected as the Rothchilds. Yet
by the end of the World War II, when the netsuke were hidden from the
Nazis in Vienna, this collection of very small carvings was all that
remained of their vast empire.