10/28/2013

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson


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Tove Jansson was a Swedish-speaking Finnish novelist, hugely famous for the children's literary phenomenon, the Moomin family. 
But this is not a post about Moomins, this is a post about The Summer Book - one of 10 books Jansson wrote for adults. 
The Summer Book is about an elderly artist and her six-year-old granddaughter Sophia spend a summer together on a tiny island 
in the gulf of Finland exploring, talking about life, nature, everything but their feelings about Sophia's mother's death and their love 
for one another.
The book is a perfect little cosmos. Behind light sentences moving depth is hidden, magic and poetry without any cheesy sentiment. 
It is a beautiful, funny and wise book.


“Small animals are a great problem. I wish God had never created small animals, or else that He had made them so they could talk, 
or else that He'd given them better faces. Space. Take moths. They fly at the lamp and burn themsleves, and then they fly right back 
again. It can't be instinct, because it isn't the way it works. They just don't understand, so they go right on doing it. Then they lie on 
their backs and all their legs quiver, and then they're dead. Did you get all that? Does it sound good?" 
"Very good," Grandmother said.
Sophia stood up and shouted, "Say this: say I hate everything that dies slow! Say I hate everything that won't let you help! 
Did you write that?” 

The Summer Book  by Tove Jansson 




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