Book Thirtythree: The Summer Book

The Summer Book, Tove Jansson

Occasionally I wander through the fiction section at Barnes & Noble looking for new editions from New York Review Books (which, yes, I know I go on about ad naseum here). I know I could just look at their website or search amazon or something, but I like the challenge of spotting the covers or the distinctive spines on the shelves. The other day, as Chris and I were searching the stacks, we spotted this book, and my first thought was, "Ooh, an NYRB I haven't seen!" and my second thought was, "What a pretty cover!" and my third thought was, "Holy Jesus F*$@, a book by Tove Jansson???!!!" And then my brain nearly exploded with excitement.

This book is near perfection. A collection of simple stories about a grandmother and her granddaughter on an island in the Gulf of Finland where they live in the summer with the Father who I can't remember saying a word through the book, since it's the grandmother and granddaughter's world we care about. They write stories about bugs and travel in their dory to neighboring islands and camp outside and watch storms coming and trespass on a new neighbor's island and argue and quibble and swear and ultimately seem to be meant for each other. I am now going to add an island in the Gulf of Finland to my list of places I would like to live, along with a quiet cozy spot on the River Thames.


Blogger JRSM said...

It's a beautiful book--I love it. (And I grew up on Moomins.) She wrote a number of other "adult" books, which are slowly filtering into English.

Is the NYRB edition cover a painting by Tove herself? It's gorgeous.

August 29, 2008 at 7:55 PM  

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