The Hare with Amber Eyes

Notting Hill Gate Library reading group discussed The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance by Edmund De Waal. Edmund takes us on a journey, unlocking the stories behind his most treasured inheritance, 264 Japanese wood and ivory carvings, the ‘netsuke’.

We had mixed emotions about this book: half of us enjoyed it and sought great pleasure within the pages and the other half, well, they couldn’t wait for the pages to end. Some thought there was too much historical fact and unnecessary information and some thought that the vast amount of information and fact was the essence of the book. Netsuke themselves are very detailed and intricate – they can be studied and handled for long periods of time and give great enjoyment to many. They can be returned to and offer new things with each visit – perhaps that’s also where the attraction of this book lies?

Edmund De Waal netsuke
A beautiful netsuke from Edmund De Waal’s collection (

Edmund de Waal is a potter and ceramic artist and book club members who have seen his work on display say they feel they can make a connection between his art and his writing. His work can be seen at the V&A.

Have you read this book? What did you think? Click here to find out more about our Reading Groups.

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