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The Summer Book (New York Review Books…
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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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1,597694,553 (4.23)323
Member:stitchedrabbit
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
Rating:****
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)
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    Cecilturtle: A similarly constructed series of connected short stories told through the eyes of a young girl.
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» See also 323 mentions

English (62)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  Finnish (1)  All (69)
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
Got this one of a friend and just adored it. I really like the way Tove writes about life and death and other ordinary things, not only in this one but in a lot of her work. I think I like this one more than the Moomin books, I don't really know why. Maybe because it was the first Tove Jansson book i read. ( )
  Tantfluff | Sep 6, 2016 |
I read this book years ago (likely in the mid-1970's) and wanted to read a follow-up. Later, I just wanted to find the book again to re-read it, but none of my local libraries carried it. I'm so happy to have come across it in LT recommendations, as a prompt to order my own copy.
I remember it as a tale of a magical summer in a young girl's life. Because of my own grandmother's Swedish heritage, I imagined if only I could have the same summer. ( )
  juniperSun | Jul 31, 2016 |
In The Summer Book Tove Jansson distills the essence of the summer--its sunlight and storms--into twenty-two crystalline vignettes. 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. The grandmother is unsentimental and wise, if a little cranky; Sophia is impetuous and volatile, but she tends to her grandmother with the care of a new parent. Together they amble over coastline and forest in easy companionship, build boats from bark, create a miniature Venice, write a fanciful study of local bugs. They discuss things that matter to young and old alike: life, death, the nature of God and of love. "On an island," thinks the grandmother, "everything is complete." In The Summer Book, Jansson creates her own complete world, full of the varied joys and sorrows of life.

Tove Jansson, whose Moomintroll comic strip and books brought her international acclaim, lived for much of her life on an island like the one described in The Summer Book, and the work can be enjoyed as her closely observed journal of the sounds, sights, and feel of a summer spent in intimate contact with the natural world.


My Review
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." ( )
  EadieB | Jun 1, 2016 |
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. ( )
  EadieB | 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 |
Showing 1-5 of 62 (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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First words
It was an early, very warm morning in July, and it had rained during the night.
Quotations
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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