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The Summer Book (New York Review Books…

The Summer Book (New York Review Books Classics) (original 1972; edition 2008)

by Tove Jansson, Kathryn Davis (Introduction), Thomas Teal (Translator)

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1,521654,849 (4.21)318
Title:The Summer Book (New York Review Books Classics)
Authors:Tove Jansson
Other authors:Kathryn Davis (Introduction), Thomas Teal (Translator)
Info:NYRB Classics (2008), Paperback, 176 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:alice hoffman

Work details

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson (1972)

  1. 41
    Moominpappa at Sea by Tove Jansson (Jannes)
    Jannes: Janssons kärlek till den finska skärgården är mycket tydlig i båda dessa böcker som trots sina ytliga olikheter har mycket gemensamt.
  2. 10
    Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury (Jannes)
    Jannes: Interconnected stories abour childhood and endless summers. Bradbury is more fantastical, while Jansson leans more to the realistic and understated, but both books runs over with wonderful and lyrical prose, and both captures a sense of childhood and summer i a way that is very rare.… (more)
  3. 00
    Suddenly in the Depths of the Forest by Amos Oz (cometahalley)
  4. 00
    A Bird in the House by Margaret Laurence (Cecilturtle)
    Cecilturtle: A similarly constructed series of connected short stories told through the eyes of a young girl.
  5. 00
    Il te e l'amore per il mare by Fazil Iskander (cometahalley)
  6. 00
    Melodia della terra. Giamilja by Cingiz Ajtmatov (cometahalley)
  7. 00
    The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna (jonathankws)
  8. 00
    Der erste Lehrer by Chinghiz Aitmatov (cometahalley)

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» See also 318 mentions

English (59)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (65)
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
I loved reading about Sophie and her grandmother as they spend the summer on an island in the Gulf of Finland. Sophie's mom has just died and her grandmother is helping her to cope with her mother's death. Little do they know that this will be their last summer together as Sophie's grandmother will die at the end of this summer. This book is a touching account of their friendship and I highly recommend it. ( )
  eadieburke | Jan 19, 2016 |
This is a charming book about one summer spent by a six-year-old child and her grandmother on a tiny Scandinavian island in early to mid 20th century. The girl's mother has recently died but is barely mentioned. I love the writing, sparse and understated at times, with telling repartee between the two as well as metaphors about nature.

Their relationship is fascinating. Both the grandmother and child are very clever in their own ways, sometimes loving and encouraging, sometimes fighting for independence, sometimes grouching at each other (as anyone who spends almost all their time together would). Both luxuriate in summer and nature, but react differently to quietude. ( )
  Connie-D | Jan 17, 2016 |
A collection of charming stories about a grandmother and her granddaughter who spend summers on an island in the gulf of Finland. Beautifully descriptive with characters that come alive. ( )
  Lynsey2 | Jan 15, 2016 |
Every summer 6 year-old Sophie and her family spend the season on an uncultivated island off the coast of Finland. This book tells the story of Sophie and her grandmother as they explore the island, embark on small adventures, and grow closer. Together they break into a neighbor’s house, search for the grandmother’s false teeth, write a book, swim, adopt a cat and develop a close bond.

I really liked this deceptively simple book. Themes of life and death, youth and aging, nature, and family relationships are subtle undercurrents throughout the narrative. Each chapter reads like a short story that stands alone. There is little on the way of plot development but together the chapters paint the picture of life on a small island and the beautiful relationship between a young girl who is haunted by the loss of her mother and her grandmother who is tries to ease that transition. The death of Sophie’s mother is only directly mentioned once (at the beginning of the book) but in many ways it lies underneath much of Sophie’s experience. This book made me think warmly about my own relationship with my grandmother who passed away several years ago.

Favorite quotes:
An island can be dreadful for someone from outside. Everything is complete and everyone has his obstinate, sure, and self-sufficient place. Within their shores, everything functions according to rituals that are as hard as rock from repetition, and at the same time they amble through their days as whimsically and casually as if the world ended at the horizon.

Everything was fine, and yet everything was overshadowed by a great sadness. It as August, and the weather was sometimes stormy and sometimes nice, but for Grandmother, no matter what happened, it was only time on top of time, since everything is vanity and a chasing after the wind.
( )
  JenPrim | Jan 15, 2016 |
The Summer Book Tove Jannson

This is essentially a collection of short stories chronically a year in the life of a grandmother and her 6 year old granddaughter who spend the summer living on a small island off the coast of Finland. Sophia's (granddaughter) mother has just died and while her father is also living on the island he remains in the background, the story focusses on the female relationship and the relationship with nature.

The stories show a range of emotion as Sophia and her grandmother contemplate life and death and the relationship each has with God.

A touching read
( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jansson, Toveprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Teal, ThomasTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davis, KathrynIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Freud, EstherForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It was an early, very warm morning in July, and it had rained during the night.
Che cosa strana è l'amore, disse Sofia. Più si ama l'altro e meno l'altro ti ama.
È assolutamente vero, osservò la nonna. E allora che cosa si può fare?
Si continua ad amare, disse Sofia minacciosamente. Si ama sempre peggio".
Grandmother walked up the bare granite and thought about birds in general. It seemed to her no other creature had the same dramatic capacity to underline and perfect events -- the shifts in the seasons and the weather, the changes that run through people themselves.
Eriksson was small and strong and the colour of the landscape, except that his eyes were blue. When people talked about him or thought about him, it seemed natural to lift their heads and gaze out over the sea […. A]s long as he stayed, he had everyone's undivided attention. No one did anything, no one looked at anything but Eriksson. They would hang on his every word, and when he was gone and nothing had actually been said, their thoughts would dwell gravely on what he had left unspoken.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0954221710, Paperback)

An elderly artist and her six-year-old grand-daughter are away on 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. This new edition, with a Foreword by Esther Freud, sees the return of a European literary gem - fresh, authentic and deeply humane.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:41 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"This brief novel tells the story of Sophia, a six-year-old girl awakening to existence, and Sophia's grandmother, nearing the end of hers, as they spend the summer on a tiny unspoiled island in the Gulf of Finland." -- Publisher's description.

(summary from another edition)

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NYRB Classics

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