This collection of stories which covers half a century of writing is divided into three parts which are loosely town based and island based and then writing in older age.
But like The Summer Book, what is so magical here is the creative spirit that links Tove and her parents and their friends to their environment. Creativity mixed with common sense and practicality.
Continue reading “A Winter Book”
Based on Tove Jansson’s own summers in the cottage she built with her brother Lars on a tiny island they discovered in the gulf of Finland in 1947; The Summer Book follows a companionable summer shared between 6 year old Sophia and her grandmother, characters inspired by her own artist mother, Signe Hammarsten and her niece Sophia.
In the introduction Esther Freud describes how on a visit it takes her precisely 4½ minutes to walk around the island, but after being there for a couple of days she falls into ‘island time’ and realises ‘it would need a whole summer to discover everything there is to do’. And I felt that this was true of the reading. The short chapters with titles like ‘The Neighbour’ or ‘The Pasture’ or ‘Playing Venice’ entice you to slow down, don’t rush and dip into the adventures and conversations that Sophia and her grandmother are having, reading and absorbing in island time. Continue reading “The Summer Book”