Book Review: The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

The Summer Book Book: The Summer Book

Writer: Tove Jansson (1914-2001)

Publisher: Sort Of Books (distributed by Penguin)

Translator: Thomas Teal (from Swedish)

Pages: 172

Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book is a modern classic in Scandinavia. It is her favorite of the ten novels she wrote for adults. Jansson’s Moomin stories are of course what the writer and artist is well known and loved for.

Tove Jansson spent nearly 30 years on an outer island in the Finnish archipelago. Every spring she would move there for five months with her long time companion. Together they lived close to the nature working and enjoying life there. It is in this book that Jansson shares her life with us. The book contains short stories of a summer – in no chronological order.

There are three main characters is the book – a grandmother, a son and father and a granddaughter. They all represent different types and attitudes. In a way I suspect that Jansson sees herself in all of them in various ways.

At first I found it difficult to get into the book. It was a question on identification. But it was the insights, wonder and deep love that drew me in. A reluctant four rose to five and a sincere recommendation for this book was born.

Stars 5/5

Now! How about baking some Archipelago bread?

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