New York Review of Books books discussion at Good Reads. The first book that was picked was this short novel by the Tove Jansson. Jannson is pretty famous for her Finn Family Moomintroll childrens' books, though somewhat oddly, not so much in the U.S. I guess Astrid Lindgren of Pippi Longstocking fame was our token Nordic writer for that era, but I do plan on reading them now.
The Summer Book is a series of related stories about summers spent on a small island off the coast of Finland that center around the lives of a grandmother and her granddaughter, Sophia. Sophia's father plays a somewhat peripheral role. Jansson's niece and her own mother were the models for this very wise book, and the whole family in fact spent much time out on these lonely but beautiful islands.
The discussion we had over on Good Reads was very thought provoking and we all found a lot of things to love about this book. I think for me what was most intriguing was the relation between the very old and the very young, which I think Jansson nailed. Life is a different thing when we are not in the midst of all the striving. I think these two states often have a lot to say to each other, though often in a subtle and indirect way.
Check out this beautiful book if you get a chance. I actually read it in the "Sort Of" edition, which has a fair number of photos. The NYRB edition has a lot of her drawings.
You are spoiled for choice, really.
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