Tove Jansson’s first book for adults drew on her childhood memories to capture afresh the enchantments and fears of growing up in Helsinki in the nineteen tens and twenties. Described as both a memoir and ‘a book of superb stories’ by Ali Smith, her startlingly evocative prose offers a glimpse of the mysteries of winter ice, the bonhomie of balalaika parties, and the vastness of Christmas viewed from beneath the tree. With rare images from the Jansson family archive, it makes a perfect gift.
As an artefact, it's a jewel with evocative black and white photographs throughout ... Jansson's narrator is wise but not precocious and has an authentic way of parroting adult observations. It's easy to see how this child, full of love and wonder, became the woman who gave us the philosophical Moomintrolls. * The Scotsman *
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