Book review: The Summer Book by Tove Jansson


It was a particularly good evening to begin a book. Tove Jansson

At first, when I started reading The Summer Book, I didn’t like it very much. However, after a few chapters my appetite started to grow and then I couldn’t stop reading and thinking about it. What caught my attention most when I read the first few pages was the realism and authenticity of the language, landscape, everydayness, emotions and relationships. It was raw and authentic to the core and somehow it made me uncomfortable. Then after some time, I realised how much I’m used to the superficial softness and sweetness of the language and relationships in my daily life; where consumerism is the main tool / power, and social media rules my thinking. It made me stop to think about my life. Do I have enough place in my everyday life for different emotions; from fear, sadness, annoyance to happiness and pure joy?!

The book is written by Tove Jansson, the famous author of the Moomin stories. The Summer Book is a series of short stories about an elderly artist and her 6-year-old granddaughter, Sophia, who spent their summer on a tiny island in the gulf of Finland. Even though the island is very small and their adventures rather ordinary, the stories are so lively, interesting and full of suspense and humour. It only shows that everydayness and nature are never boring nor lack anything, quite the opposite, our daily life can be as fascinating as we want it to be.

For some inspiration, see the video.

Have you read any of Tove Jansson’s books? Please let me know in the comments below.

Kinga Macalla

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