Read this on a quiet weekend at the cabin. Perfect fare for that but meditative as the reviewers suggest. As I have been in Amsterdam and have seen many of the Dutch Masters paintings, I could move into this type of book. Not for the average bear. Came to this title through the UofM Learninglife ? catalog which was offering a class on memoirs. Students were to read 3: this, The Hare with the Amber Eyes, and Joan Didion either Year of Magical Thinking, or Blue Nights, can't remember which. Serious and beautifully crafted.
The interwoven story of two men – Hawley Crippen, a very unlikely murderer, and Guglielmo Marconi, the obsessive creator of ‘wireless’ communication. Rich with historical detail, the interconnected tale becomes apparent near the end at which time the pace increases. By the author of 'In the Garden of Beasts.'
Not sure where to go on my review here after reading those below. I surely think that the success of the author's quest will vary with the reader's background. It IS detailed in parts and too vague and imagined in some parts but that has to do w. the available source material in my opinion. De Waal makes clear at the outset that he is trying to fill in the gaps of the family history. It certainly isn't the average family history. Most readers will learn a lot. Definitely not just another holocaust book. And strangely, when someone points out some inconsistent "facts", it strikes me that it's forgivable. The author didn't offer himself as an expert but as a member of part of a rich [ and "rich"] family saga. His "art" eyes added in my view. Oh, I got to this as part of a recommended reading list in a U of MN Memoir class. KH