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Saturday, 11 February 2017

Review: The Summer Book Tove Jansson

A grandmother and her granddaughter, Sophia, spend summer together on an island, whiling away the days and hours. Sophia's father is there, too, but never spends much time with them. 

Sophia and her grandmother spend most of the time exploring the island. Sophia seems to demand a lot from her grandmother, quite often shouting at her when she thinks her grandmother isn't telling things right. Her grandmother, in turn, remembers and regrets all the things that she used to do that she cannot do now.

The book itself is told in a set of sort-of vignettes - all the same characters and settings are in place, but each with a different focus. 

The pace is slow, languorous and dreamlike. The island is like a tiny idyll, an escape from the world and you could forget that a world outside of the island actually existed. Time doesn't seem to exist here; everything just happens in the present and there isn't any thought of the future until the very end when things have to be packed up for Autumn. 

It is a short read but very pleasant, a novel to be enjoyed at a steady pace.   

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