The hare with the amber eyes – Edmund de Waal
I should have enjoyed this book. So many people recommended it and it contained a combination of factors I enjoy in a book: fact, linking the past with the present, World War 1, biography, links between the past and the present and an easy read. So, why didn’t I?
Simply? I was reading it at an inappropriate time and this was annoying. That’s one of the problems belonging (or running) a bookgroup. You have to read the selected book by a specific day. My attention was elsewhere and this wonderful book suffered – well my indulgence in it did. I hope I manage to find some time to re-read it so I can really do it justice. Whilst reading the book, I was conscious of my frustration – I was in an Africa phase and this book was dragging me into Europe. I was needing escapism and this was a reality I was trying to escape (the destruction of war).
Putting my personal feelings aside, The hare with the amber eyes is an incredibly well-written book, and for a genealogical study (which in effect it is), it’s a very refreshing read. Not starting such a book with ‘xxx was born in yyy to parents who zzz’ can only deserve respect. The painstaking research recorded in some detail and the emotions attached resonate and provide a blue-print for others wanting to discover an aspect of their family’s past.
Reading The Hare with the Amber Eyes forced me to analyse my reading preferences. This coming soon after having struggled with Sue Hampton’s Woken in e-book format. For me, this incredible book of short stories was undermined electronically. Reading it later in paper format brought to light the quality writing it contains and Sue’s ability to bring her characters to life.
I wonder how many books get poor reviews purely because the reader is not in the right frame of mind for the book or that the book is accessed in an inappropriate format for the reader?