The Summer Book by Tove Jansson (tr. Thomas Teal)

a nutshell: on a small island in the Gulf of Finland, a six-year-old girl Sophia and her grandma amble through summer in 22 scenes crystallising the ebb and flow of life

a line: “‘I hate you. With warm personal wishes, Sophia.’ All the words were correctly spelled.”

an image: in ‘The Cat’, Sophia’s wrestling with the emotional turmoil of an adopted animal that doesn’t want her affection is absolute perfection

a thought: a small, mighty book – tardis-like in its power to transport you back to a place of secluded bliss, stringing together pearls of childhood wonder & fury

a fact: Jansson wrote the book in 1972 after the death of her mother, who successfully campaigned for the right of Swedish girls to sleep outside in tents (subtly alluded to in the book)


want to read The Summer Book? visit here