I would have enjoyed this book more had I been less familiar with some of the topics tackled during its first half. Namely, the Paris and Vienna of the 1870-1914 period with Impressionism, Japonisme, Proust, circles of Jewish finance and art patrons, Dreyfus affair…and the parallel Building of the Ringstrasse, the Sezession, Psychoanalysis, etc. All this is a bit of a déjà vu (or déjà lu) for me. But Edmund de Waal easily escapes the clichés when he relies on well-known cultural episodes. As the great-grandchild of the Ephrussis, the family whose history the book traces, he is endowed with both a material and a moral advantage. With access to family letters, photographs and personal testimonies, his account has a veneer of authenticity and freshness that is welcomed. And as a ceramist, De Waal (commissioned by the V&A to design the new ceramics galleries) literally handles the history of his family by turning it slowly and carefully around and around, paying meticulous attention to all its materiality. What emerges is a fascinating and very sad story of a Jewish family in the Europe from late 19th Century onwards.All in all, an endearing book with counterbalanced Diaspora and Home Returning stories: the Ephrussis and their Netsuke collection.