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I never heard of this book before, and it sounds so lovely. I'm going to look for it, thanks to you.


I was lucky enough to purchase the UK version of the book, completely by accident, and I appreciated the photos and the introduction. The Summer Book wasn't what I expected, either--in fact, I thought it was nonfiction! I liked the vignette style of the chapters, and the delicate depictions of the high emotion the characters were experiencing. Very different from what I've read before.

Now I have to search out The Winter Book!


Oh thank you so much for the background info Danielle! My copy is an old library copy and so I didn't get an intro. You know, I was sort of expecting some light, frothy book and this was not it. I mean some of the discussions the grandmother and Sophia had were really about much larger things in life weren't they? Definitely a good read.


Jeane--I think you would like it. I can see myself picking this up now and again and reading chapters at whim!
Kathy--To compensate the US edition does have lovely line drawings, which I think Jansson drew. I do like seeing the photo of her mother and Sophia--they are exactly as I would have imagined them. I also liked the unsentimental nature of the book and will be looking for her Winter Book as well!
Iliana--I sort of ran out of steam on posts, so I feel like I didn't do a very good job writing about the book, but it's always nice to learn something interesting about the author. I think I also was expecting something fluffy, too, and this was much more substantial. I can't imagine having those sorts of talks with my grandmother--but it's very cool they were so close.


Wonderful review, Danielle and so interesting to learn more biographical details. I loved it,too, and appreciated imagining summer in the depths of midwinter!


I got the Winter Book but thought that it consisted of stories. The Summer Book sounds more like a novel. I really want to read this too. I think some of the Moomin books sound very enjoyable also for grownups. I have never been in Scandinavia but I would love to visit. Just not in winter. A friend of mine came back because the winter darkness was just too much.


Every time I see a list of favorite children's books, the Moomin books appear. I've just added The Summer Book to my wish list, clicked right over to Amazon and added it because your review charmed me. I'll be looking for the Moomin books, too. Great review and thanks!


Thank you for such an interesting peak into a book that I will be on the lookout for. The background on Jansson is interesting, as well. I'm wishing it was on my shelf right now, to pluck down and set into my lap as a snowstorm of epic proportions heads this way.


This was an enjoyable book, wasn't it? I liked how Grandmother and Sophia would talk and argue. I especially liked their conversation about whether or not Hell existed.


How nice you gave us some background on this lovely book and the photographs too!

Simon T

Lovely review of one of my favourite authors, Danielle. Do try and track down A Winter Book too - a wonderful collection of short stories. For something a little darker, try Jansson's The True Deceiver. They have both been published by NYRB, I think.


I have to confess that I have not yet read any of Jansson's books for adults! Moomin books, however, were part of my childhood. All Jansson's books are very popular here in Finland. In addition to the books already mentioned, there's also Travelling Light that was published in London last year. It is a collection of stories. And another novel, Fair Play, came out in English in 2007.


a book that I need to find!

Dorothy W.

I would LOVE to visit that island! Only 4 1/2 minutes to walk around it? Wow. That area must be absolutely beautiful. I think my library has one of the Moomin books, and I'll have to check it out. I'd never heard of them before, and now I'm very curious.


Litlove--She sounds like she was an interesting person. I loved that the UK version had a photo of her mom and niece--they are just what I imagined in the book.
Caroline--I think I would prefer to visit in the summer when the days are really long--would love to go,too. I also want to check out the Moomin books and will have to see if my library has any. I have a feeling The Summer Book is much like The Winter book in that it also has stories that can almost stand on their own. I don't always like that in books--but it worked well with this one--a nice book to pick up, read a story and set down again for later.
Janclair--I had not heard of the Moomin books until I came across Tove Jansson just recently. They've probably been around and I've just overlooked them, but now I want to check them out. I think you'd like this one!
Penny--Oh, I'm sorry the snow is going to hit you, too. We had ice yesterday and snow today and into the night, but nothing really compared to the rest of the country! This would be the perfect escapist read from the snow! :)
Stefanie--I liked their rapport, too. They were both a little curmudgeonly, but affectionate as well. I'm with the grandma on saying no to hell! It's funny that such a small child would be so particular, but maybe not?
Catharina--Isn't that a gorgeous blue photo? The island looks really lovely--I can see why they would want to spend their summers there!
Simon--I'm glad NYRB has made her books available over here. I am curious now about her other (more straightforward?) novels, and will definitely be on the look out for The Winter Book--I'd like to read more about Sophia and her grandmother and am guessing the other book follows the same set up.
Tiina--She is a relatively new find for me, so I am looking forward to seeing what her children's books are like--she certainly seems like a beloved children's author. I am going to look up those most recent(recently translated?) books now--thanks!
Dorothy--Wouldn't that be cool? I loved the idea of them leaving the house for others to find and use--how often does that sort of thing happen (maybe more often than I think?). It must be incredibly small--a four minute walk is really quick and wouldn't cover too much ground, but its nice having visuals in mind when reading. I'm not sure the library where I work has any of the Moomin books, but I will be searching for them this week as I am curious, too.


My son and I love the Moomin books--and I've carefully squirreled this book away for a holiday in June. Looks so wonderful!


LifetimeReader--Enjoy--I really liked this and it will be perfect for the beginning of summer! I really need to check out those Moomin books--they sound much loved by a lot of people. I somehow missed them growing up.

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