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Publisher's Summary

In The Summer Book Tove Jansson distills the essence of the summer - its sunlight and storms - into 22 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.

©1972 Tove Jansson (Moomin Characters); translation copyright 1974 by The Estate of Tove Jansson; Introduction copyright by Kathryn Davis (P)2022 Tantor

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Pure delight

What a wonderful compilation of tales. True joy in the relationship between a grandmother and her precocious granddaughter.

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GORGEOUS. FULL OF GRACE. NEEDED THIS.

Thank you for this exquisite audiobook. I wasn’t expecting much, because it’s been a tough time so I’m not expecting much of anything. This audiobook reminded me of the beauty of life, and not just reminded me, but gave me the experience of it. The narrator did an absolutely gorgeous job voicing the old woman, little girl, and all the characters. Sometimes narrators are super annoying when they voice old or young people, but Natasha Soudek brought an authenticity to it that mesmerized and sucked me in. It was like she was transmitting love, care, wisdom, and curiosity into my soul, which sounds super cheesy, but that’s how it was. This audiobook is important because it connected me with youth, the old age that is to come, and all the magic in between that makes living not just worth it, but (often) magical. Seeing simple things through the characters’ eyes, hearing their emotions and wisdom through the narrator’s wonderful voice… all of it shifted something in me. Thank you. Needed this.

1 person found this helpful