The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

Published February 3, 2022

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

Book info

  • Title The Summer Book
  • Author Tove Jansson
  • Year 1972
  • Genre Literary

An elderly artist and her six-year-old grand-daughter while away a summer together on a tiny island in the gulf of Finland. As the two learn to adjust to each other's fears, whims and yearnings, a fierce yet understated love emerges - one that encompasses not only the summer inhabitants but the very island itself. Written in a clear, unsentimental style, full of brusque humour, and wisdom, The Summer Book is a profoundly life-affirming story. Tove Jansson captured much of her own life and spirit in the book, which was her favourite of her adult novels.


Mixed feelings about this book - it was relatively short, so I can’t complain on that front, but it really did feel like nothing happened. It started out well and quite interesting, Sophia is a fascinating character in an odd situation, and I did like the many conversations between her and her grandmother, but as a book, it didn’t really seem to be going anywhere and if I’m honest, I wasn’t bothered when I got to the end of it. Well written but I’d love to have a bit more structure to it.

Rating: 3 / 5

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