The summer book by Tove Jansson

source – own copy swapped for winter book with Inside books .

Tove Jansson was a finnish writer that wrote in Swedish ,she was best known for her children’s books the Moomin series ,which was made into a tv series ,that I watched as a child and loved its humour ,which is in this book .

The summer book follows the gran Tove and her six-year-old grand-daughter ,on her Island home during a summer ,The winter book I read earlier this year was mainly about coping on the Island over the winter .But summer book is firmly about family and the fun A six-year-old can be with questions ,we also see the ebb and flow of the island ,new neighbours Sophie the grand-daughter missing her father who returns in one of the stories .The stories are rich in the tapestry of life ,fun and simple .Tove Jansson has manage to make everyday life seem bright and Vibrant to the reader .I manage to get through this book in an evening smile and laughing along the way .

Sophie asked her grandmother what heaven looked like ,and grandmother said it might be like the pasture they were just the walking by ,on the way to the village over on the mainland .They stopped to look ,it was very hot the road was white and cracked ,and all the plants along the ditch had dust on their leaves .

Sophie like any young child has a questioning nature .

Passages like this remind me of my own holidays with grandparents growing up ,they always seemed so wise and different and always seemed to have the answer to any question ,like the grandmother .There are new neighbours to deal with a large house new to the island ,The grandmother and Sophie sneak over and have a look at this house and Sophie is surprised by how big it is and then the owners appear with a huge dog the runs and barks ,she gets nervous but grandmother gives him some sugar and the owner says he only wants to play .This story was so funny ,you can see Sophie’s nervousness at  being in the house ,and fear of the dog but this is laced with humor and Sophie saying thinks like

he’s got big paintings .

They’ve found our boat .

Build the tension and humor .The book is now firmly one of my favourites and Jansson one of the best writers I ve read ,her style is uncluttered ,engaging and most of all highly readable ,the translation is perfect the book reads as thou it was originally written in English not Swedish .it evokes this island yet again ,I said on twitter it to someone when reading it ,that it made me want to live on a small island there is something about being away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life .Translated by Thomas Teal .

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gavin
    Dec 20, 2010 @ 00:38:49

    Nice review, Stu. This is also one of my favorites. I’d love to be on that island.


  2. Willa
    Dec 20, 2010 @ 13:03:46

    Great review Stu, this sounds really good!


  3. parrish
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 08:17:30

    Loved the moomins & if through this book , she conveys just half the humour & innocence of those characters, this will be a wonderful read.
    This Seasons greetings to you & yours.


  4. amymckie
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 15:29:58

    I’ve been hearing a lot about this author and I have to say that I’m quite intrigued 🙂 Glad you enjoyed this!


  5. Tom C
    Dec 22, 2010 @ 08:40:15

    Great review Stu- this is one of my favorites too – I think I have read all her “adult” books and am a great admirer of her work


  6. Aarti
    Dec 24, 2010 @ 22:19:42

    I’ve heard nothing but good about this author. I’ve got her True Deceiver on my shelf to read soon 🙂


  7. Trackback: Women in translation | Winstonsdad's Blog
  8. poppypeacockpens
    Jul 15, 2015 @ 20:43:17

    Just got this and The Woman Who Borrowed Memories, have them lined up for next month’s WIT… really looking forward to them following your review & praise of Janssen from other bloggers, like Marina Sofia, too😊


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December 2010


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