The only thing I can complain about this book is how it dragged me deep into WWII world. So far I've been captivated by Roger Moorhouse's [b:Berlin at War|8710687|Berlin at War|Roger Moorhouse|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328841491s/8710687.jpg|13583544] and watched the film "Das Boot". I'm almost finished reading the book and I simply love the movie. All because this book enchanted me with the European world during the WWI & WWII. The Ephrussi's book itself was wonderful. Perhaps what intriqued me most is how de Waal himself unsure about how he feels about his long gone ancestors. Except about Iggie, of course, since he's the one leading him to writing this story in the first place. Iggie is of course also my favorite Ephrussi, what with him running away from banking world and then realizing at the end that he's actually quite good with numbers & become the only high-lighted Ephrussi to be successful in it. Then I got curious about netsuke and seriously considering about getting one. It's rather a pity that netsuke didn't have as much as airing time as I thought it would be. Though of the netsuke were more of a red string that bind the narrative instead of the main star. All in all, highly recommended book, it painted the contemporary life of the connected eras without overly sentimental. I do feel it's rather too thick on Jewishness, but it was the main theme of that era and the Ephrussi's assimilation is what the story all about; once the story move to Iggie's time in Japan it eased significantly.