The Summer Book
Celebrating 50 years of Tove Jansson’s classic, bestselling novel
Featured in the BBC 2 Between the Covers Bookclub Special (Eurovision series 2023)
‘Distils the essence of summer’ Robert Macfarlane
‘Magical, life-affirming’ Elizabeth Gilbert
The Worldwide Classic about a tiny island and larger love.
An elderly artist and her six-year-old grand-daughter while away a summer together on a tiny island in the gulf of Finland. As the two learn to adjust to each other’s fears, whims and yearnings, a fierce yet understated love emerges – one that encompasses not only the summer inhabitants but the very island itself.
Written in a clear, unsentimental style, full of brusque humour, and wisdom, The Summer Book is a profoundly life-affirming story. Tove Jansson captured much of her own life and spirit in the book, which was her favourite of her adult novels. With a foreword by Esther Freud and an afterword by Sophia Jansson (on whom the child ‘Sophia’ is based) who returns to the island during the pandemic at the point of becoming a grandmother herself.
Includes a 15pp epilogue by Tove’s niece Sophia Jansson – the inspiration for ‘Sophia’ – on a personal and moving return to the island.
‘Eccentric, funny, wise, full of joys and small adventures. This is a book for life.’ Esther Freud
‘Tove Jansson was a genius. This is a marvellous, beautiful, wise novel, which is also very funny.’ Philip Pullman
Tove Jansson was a genius. This is a marvellous, beautiful, wise novel, which is also very funny. -- Philip Pullman This is a wonderful, life-affirming, spirited book. Reading it was a tonic. -- Chris Stewart (author, Driving Over Lemons) Eccentric, funny, wise, full of joys and small adventures. This is a book for life. -- Esther Freud
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