The Hare With Amber Eyes, Edmund de Waal
My husband insisted that he had to draw my next book from the candy bowl because he didn't trust me not to put a book back if I thought I didn't fancy it.
Fair enough, I said, and offered him the bowl. He pulled out a slip of paper, looked at it and put it back again. By the look on his face, I'm guessing it was another Steinbeck.
His second attempt has produced The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal.
This was recommended to me by a friend and it's been sitting on my kindle for quite a while now.
Publishers' Weekly blurb
In this family history, de Waal, a potter and curator of ceramics at the Victoria & Albert Museum, describes the experiences of his family, the Ephrussis, during the turmoil of the 20th century. Grain merchants in Odessa, various family members migrated to Vienna and Paris, becoming successful bankers. Secular Jews, they sought assimilation in a period of virulent anti-Semitism. In Paris, Charles Ephrussi purchased a large collection of Japanese netsuke, tiny hand-carved figures including a hare with amber eyes. The collection passed to Viktor Ephrussi in Vienna and became the family's greatest legacy. Loyal citizens of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Vienna Ephrussis were devastated by the outcome of WWI and were later driven from their home by the imposition of Nazi rule over Austria. After WWII, they discovered that their maid, Anna, had preserved the netsuke collection, which Ignace Ephrussi inherited, and he settled in postwar Japan. Today, the netsuke reside with de Waal (descended from the family's Vienna branch) and serve as the embodiment of his family history.