Book Five: The True Deceiver

The True Deceiver, Tove Jansson

If someone found some lost crate containing 52 previously unpublished books by Tove Jansson, I would put all other books aside and just read her words for a year solid. She creates worlds that I want to inhabit. Even when they are as bleak and cold as the one in The True Deceiver. Where The Summer Book captured the innocence and sweetness of childhood, The True Deceiver is more about the lies and suspicions and conflicts of adulthood. It feels so very allegorical without losing its sense of real characters and real situations or sacrificing the integrity of the story's inhabitants with a trite ending meant to teach us something simple and true. The two women who make up the central conflict--Katri and Anna--feel so very real it's easy to imagine them in your world. But the story is about something bigger, too, and that's what makes it compelling. I'm not sure I can say much more without either A, ruining the plot or B, making it all sound completely ridiculous, so I'll just shut up and admire the beautiful cover some more (a Tove Jansson illustration, natch).


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