THE SUMMER BOOK TOVE JANSSON; BOOK.
The Summer Book by Tove Jansson is the story of an artist grandmother and her six-yearold granddaughter who spend a summer together on a tiny island in the Gulf of Finland.
A foreword by Esther Freud explains the semiautobiographical nature of the book and this stayed with me as Sophia and her grandmother fill their days with chores, adventures and conversations.
The beauty was not just in the landscape and the nature but in the exchanges between these two main characters. At times they are brutally honest with each other. Grandmother is not patronising or condescending. She is gruffly nurturing, loving and generous with her time.
The adventures are enhanced by descriptions of the nature and the landscapes. I was there. outside with them, listening in, feeling the elements.
It may not have been the warmest or driest of summers in my little corner of Scotland, but there's no disputing the quality of light that Scotland experiences during summer and this book reminded me so much of our season.
It is described as "a literary gem from the creator of the Moomin books". Now I can't wait to get my hands on Tove Jansson's A Winter Book.
BY SUSAN STEWART WATERSTONES, DUMFRIES IN ASSOCIATION WITH