Digital Download Macmillan Audio 2011
DD ISBN 978-1-4272-1570-3 $23.99
The measured calmness in Michael Maloney’s reading allows the listener to be immersed in de Waal’s memoir. The book tells of the fortunes of the Ephrussis, a wealthy Jewish family of traders whose business dealings spread from Russia across Europe. Now their fortune is diminished, with only their netsuke collection—tiny Japanese ornamental carvings—remaining. De Waal details these objects of fascination and the family’s saga, particularly how their maid, Anna, preserved the netsukes and prevented them from being looted by the Nazis. The story tends to ramble, but Maloney always keeps his focus, using pauses and a lean narrative tone to allow the listener to appreciate these unique carvings and the similarly unique family to which de Waal, a potter and curator of ceramics at the Victoria and Albert Museum, belongs. D.J.S. © AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine [Published: OCTOBER 2011]
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