This was one of those unexpected finds. I had seen Tove Jansson’s A Winter Book advertised in a bookstore window, and enticed by the promise of the cover and a collection of short stories by the author of the Moomins, I went looking for it. It was then that I discovered that there was this, earlier, book available and so I thought I should perhaps read that one first.
It’s a novel, but it could so easily be an autobiography, such that it is written. Set on an island off the Finnish coast, this is a story of a young girl on holiday with her grandmother. Could Tove Jansson be the young girl? Or the grandmother? Of course she is neither, but she could be either. The short book takes us through a series of short stories or episodes that dip in and out of various summers, in no particular order. It’s like reading someones memories in the way that one story will bring to mind another. Loved the quiet simplicity of it.