Reviews

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

momey's review against another edition

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5.0

Love

hanfull's review against another edition

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adventurous reflective relaxing slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.5

sophiesallade's review against another edition

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5.0

I loved this book with my whole heart. It is packed with so many lessons, and never the one you expect. The ties it draws between young and old, god and nature, family, the sea, home.. it’s all so touching.

Read on paper as summer came to a close, and autumn began.

kingarooski's review against another edition

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5.0

A six-year old girl spends the summers with her grandmother on a small island in the gulf of Finland. The girl's father is there, too, but he's mainly working and a background character. The relationship is not a kissy-huggy one. The grandmother is quite caustic at times and Sophie seems to shout a lot, but I imagine she shouts in the way that children shout: as a form of communication. The beauty of the book is the language and the pace of the plot. Each chapter describes an event during one of the summers: visit from an older friend, a new house built on a nearby island, a ferocious storm that hits the islands in the gulf, etc.

The language is beautiful and I could pull out half a dozen quotes out of the book, but this is the one that stayed with me the longest:
Sometimes people never saw things clearly until it was too late and they no longer had the strength to start again. Or else they forgot their idea along the way and didn't even realise that they had forgotten.


This is an amazing book that will stay with me for a long time.

askye's review

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adventurous emotional funny lighthearted reflective relaxing medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

elanor90's review against another edition

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1.0

This book was one of Amazon's summer deals. I picked it, because it was cheap (thank god), I liked the blurb, the cover image, and the book was written by Tove Jansson, author of the Moomins. Moreover, I really love the Nordic countries and the book takes place on a Finnish island in summer. The perfect ingredients for a nice summer read.

Looking at the reviews, people seem to absolutely love this book, but I am not one of them. It's a short book and still, I have been struggling to get through it all afternoon (it's a lovely summer afternoon by the way - so this would in theory be a great match). I couldn't finish it. I'm stuck at 30% and I'm going to give up on this. NOTHING happens at all. The writing style is tedious and distant, the characters completely uninteresting. I cannot get into it and Tove certainly didn't manage to transport me to a lovely Finnish island in summer. Shame.

coco_randolph's review against another edition

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hopeful lighthearted reflective relaxing fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.75

thechemicaldetective's review against another edition

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5.0

A slender piece of perfection, simple and beautiful.
An elderly artist and her six year old granddaughter spend long summer days on a tiny island in the gulf of Finland. I loved the conversations between them, dialogue full of non-sequiturs and adjustments, extremely funny and very moving.
A book to read and re-read.

queenkath32's review against another edition

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lighthearted reflective

4.5

curlypip's review against another edition

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1.0

Hmmm… I’m not sure I’ve read the same book as all the people who rated it 4 or 5 stars. It was too nothing-y, a series of unconnected vignettes that don’t add up to a coherent story. It was lost on me