{Free Epub} ì Sommarboken ⚽ eBook or E-pub free

The forest was full of signs and portents, its own secret written language. Tove Jansson, the world renowned creator of the Moomintroll characters, succinctly harnesses the power and glory of a seaside summer season in the twenty two elegant vignettes contained within The Summer Book Here is a book in no need of magic or any other fantastical adornments as she reminds us that we can discover pure, beautiful magic in the natural world all around us if only we quiet our lives and open our eyes to it Set upon a tiny island in the Gulf of Finland much like where Jansson s own family spent their summers, Summer Book chronicles the interactions and adventures between a young girl, Sophia, and her grandmother as they embrace the world and all the facts of life that surround them Tender and subtle, yet laced with poignant investigations of life, love and death, Jansson s words caress the soul like a warm breeze carrying with it the effluvium of the sea and all its majesty The childhood vacation home of Tove Jansson The Summer Book is a book where almost nothing happens, yet everything happens It is a quiet little book that that only hints at the powerful undercurrents that charge the events that transpire Each vignette details what initially appears to be seemingly inconspicuous moments in the lives of young Sophia and her grandmother, yet unveil guideposts leading to deeply penetrating insights into the human condition, much like the wooden animal figurines created by the grandmother She cut the them from branches and driftwood and gave them paws and faces, but she only hinted at what they looked like and never made them too distinct They retained their wooden souls, and the curve of their backs and legs had the enigmatic shape of growth itself and remained a part of the decaying forest Grandmother worked only in old wood that had already found its form That is, she saw and selected those pieces of wood that expressed what she wanted them to say. Jansson doesn t force meaning or preach morality, she simply selects sublime moments of human interaction and lets them point towards something far greater In this manner, Jansson avoids the pitfalls of choking the reader in oversentimentality and soars to great heights of succinct poetic grace Accompanying her awe inspiring words are her gorgeous illustrations, which make a perfect match by being both simple, yet magnificent An island can be dreadful to someone from outside Everything is complete, and everyone has his obstinate, sure, and self sufficient place Within their shores, everything functions according to rituals that are as hard as rock from repetition, ad at the same time they amble through their days as whimsically and casually as if the world ended at the horizon. Each vignette is as self contained as an island, with one event gesturing towards one idea, and then never returned to again, much like children s cartoons where each episode is irrelevant from the next, which only furthers the glorious childlike feelings that emanate from each page There is no need to establish a time line the months moving back and forth across the summer season may imply that it occurs over several different summers, yet there is no indication which summer it is or if Sophia has aged or for events to be considered in light of later events It is a blur of summer grandeur Nothing really progresses, yet nothing really has to because The Summer Book is a vacation from the stresses and hustle of life It moves to the gentle rhythm of a bobbing sea quietly breaking on shore as you read in the long grass beneath a sweltering sun There is only one major event that directs the course of the action Sophia woke up and remembered that they had come back to the island and that she had a bed to herself because her mother was dead. This is the only mention of Sophia s tragic loss, and while it sits hushed in the peripheries of the margins, it casts an omnipresent shadow that is always lurking in the back of the reader s mind Jansson wrote this book a year after loosing her own mother After witnessing a worm cut in two and learning that both halves will continue on, Sophia dictates a study on worms to the grandmother in which she say They realized that from now on life would be quite different, but they didn t know how, that is, in what way. Sophia must live her life without her other half , not knowing how it is affecting her, but only knowing that it is affecting her Amidst the joyful effervescence of summer are the grim realities of mortal lives that must interact with one another Jansson does not depict a world full of eternal sunshine and happiness, but one where the sky may break into a furious storm at any moment to rattle us like a house being tugged from its foundation in gale force windsIt s funny about me, Sophia said I think nice weather gets to be boringOnce again managing to avoid being overly sweet, Jansson creates a cast of flawed, yet very human, characters Sophia often flies into an angry rage, often irritated that the world doesn t fit her idea of how it should be, and has a fierce need to test boundaries and assert her independence and identity, whereas the grandmother is cantankerous and rather unsentimental The two make a wonderfully comedic pair, bickering as equals and passing time together, being both too young and too old to partake in much of the activity around them such as a booze filled party on a boat the father leaves them for and having to find ways to assert their existence in the world in spite of it all Jansson illuminates a world that is indifferent and unsentimental, yet manages to create a passionate tenderness out of embracing reality as it is We must make the best of the world we have and learn to love it if we are to find true happiness in our lives, and this book is a wonderful example of finding this love.As the pair face the world, the readers are given small glimpses into their hearts and souls Many of life s big issues are addressed and handled with finesse, such as the way in which we love even what hurts us Sophia is disgusted by her cat because it is a killer, always bringing dead mice to the door, and trades it for a different cat only to miss her original catIt ll be awful, said Sophia gravely But it s Moppy I loveA wide assortment of life s toughest realities, all its joys and sorrows, are viewed through the innocence of a young girl finding her way in the wild, and the result is immensely moving Nothing last forever, and our summer of childhood must come to an end We must shoulder the cold of the world and move on into our seasons of adulthood, carrying with us the lessons we learned as wild eyed children trying to decipher the mysterious signs of nature.Each page of The Summer Book rolled across me in waves of nostalgia for idyllic childhood summers spent in a cabin rented by my parents on Sunset Lake in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan With each luminous description of the luscious landscapes I was transported back to the sights, sounds and smells of the waves, trees and summer air of my childhood and sat back in wonderment as I watched my memories play back images of my younger self encountering the mysteries of the world This truly is a beautiful book that instilled an emotion in me so delicate and beautifully ineffable that I had to get sloppy drunk enough to have the audacity to tarnish it s power by attempting to convey it through the dingy pipelines of my own words This is a subtle little novel that immerses you into nature and reminds you that you are just a tiny dot in a vast universe While nothing appears to be immediately meaningful, there is a vast depth to be uncovered if we just sit back, relax, and let ourselves be engulfed in Jansson s prose Which is much like the magic of the world around us We miss so much if we rapidly hurtle through the world, trying to leave a mark upon it as we attempt to ensnare some sort of meaning that we can hold onto and bottle up in an airtight jar of our own identity Instead, Jansson asks us to take the slow, scenic route, and transcend beyond our own identity, to become a small part of nature, a tiny part of something greater There is where the true magic of existence is found, listening to the orchestra of nature all around us and seeing the power and beauty in the tiniest of interactions, in seeing each interaction with another consciousness as a gift in itself, and finding peace in our small corner of the world Jansson expertly harnesses the aura of summer, and its nights that are, as Bruno Schulz once wrote, as vast as the megalomanic aspirations of young lovers This book is utterly cleansing to a weary heart, like a brilliant ray of sunshine through a dusty attic, and makes for a perfect summer get away for readers of any age This book makes me glad to be alive.5 5 To the final landscape of our old age, as summer fades This is a fine moment Silences settles all around us, each of us wanders his own way, and we all meet by the sea in the peaceful sunset. Rating 4.5 of fiveThe Publisher Says In The Summer Book Tove Jansson distills the essence of the summer its sunlight and storms into twenty two crystalline vignettes This brief novel tells the story of Sophia, a six year old girl awakening to existence, and Sophia s grandmother, nearing the end of hers, as they spend the summer on a tiny unspoiled island in the Gulf of Finland The grandmother is unsentimental and wise, if a little cranky Sophia is impetuous and volatile, but she tends to her grandmother with the care of a new parent Together they amble over coastline and forest in easy companionship, build boats from bark, create a miniature Venice, write a fanciful study of local bugs They discuss things that matter to young and old alike life, death, the nature of God and of love On an island, thinks the grandmother, everything is complete In The Summer Book, Jansson creates her own complete world, full of the varied joys and sorrows of life.Tove Jansson, whose Moomintroll comic strip and books brought her international acclaim, lived for much of her life on an island like the one described in The Summer Book, and the work can be enjoyed as her closely observed journal of the sounds, sights, and feel of a summer spent in intimate contact with the natural world The Summer Book is translated from the Swedish by Thomas Teal.My Review I am a person who likes quiet My home environment, when I m able to force my will on my roommate, is free of audio pollution like TV and radio Perhaps in compensation, I love spy stories and space war epics and historical novels with battles, explosions, near misses with the main character dangling from rooftopsthe very essence of un quiet The Summer Book is, in contrast, the quietest reading imaginable Yes, there are stormsan island will experience a lot of thosethere are misfit neighbors in ugly houses, and all of it is so much the proper order of things that they fail to create fear in the reader The two or three hours you ll spend with this family as its members learn to grow, learn to let go, and simply earn their living won t be wasted.I d strongly suggest this as a midafternoon sunny day read, or the quiet and the rightness of story and style will lull the tense, stressed, relaxation deprived modern person into a deep, satisfying sleep. Why do only the very very young or the very very old have time to ponder what heaven is like Or to bask in the simple act of diving Or to invent stories about mice and worms and write a novel about a day in their animal lives Maybe because grandmothers are the only people in the world capable of educating using the art of playing and granddaughters are the only ones ready to play with grandmothers seriously This is, in short, what Tove Jansson portrays in The Summer Book, a summer that is not Mediterranean, and a book that is not only for children but rather for those of all ages who still see the world as a place full of potential wonder and adventure.Jansson evokes the chilly nights of August, the virulence of summer storms and the silent walks on the untamed beaches of a lost island in Finland with tenderness and mischievous humor calling out to the hidden child that lays dormant in adults and the grown up that peeks from behind the guileless eyes of children The abrupt landscape and the peaceful solitude of the island play a protagonist role in the story, framing the conversations between grandmother and granddaughter with the eeriness and depth that only the Nordic scenery can provide.An island is one of the few places on earth where it is possible to create your own world, and Jansson manages to build a small universe where old and young, danger and beauty, real life and imagination coexist in perfect balance, feeding on each other s experiences, making everything new yet cosily familiar at the same time to the astonished reader Passing on the baton to our children seems like an obvious idea, but Jansson s depiction of the magic bond that can be developed between the elderly and children is nothing short of a miracle, a gem to be treasured, nurtured and understood as one of those important things that give meaning and purpose to life.Grandmothers are, after all, like fairy Godmothers, they can beat bad luck, superstition and even death everything fits in their pockets because they fight back with the invincible weapons of wisdom, patience and unreserved love And who can beat something like that As luck would have it, there was a Tove Jansson exhibition on at the Helsinki Ateneum while I was in town August marks the centenary of her birth It s still strange to me to realise that a hundred years ago is only the twentieth century now To me, last century still suggests Oscar Wilde, Thomas Hardy Amidst all the seascapes, moody self portraits and Moomin sketches, I was fascinated by a video exhibit that showed a loop of grainy home movie footage Tove and her partner Tuulikki Pietil on their island in the Pellinkis, laughing in the sun, wearing baggy knitted jumpers, and looking as people always do in grainy home movie footage especially dead.In some ways death is the central theme of this book, but to say so gives entirely the wrong impression it is light, charming, funny, enriching, very alive, not remotely morbid or depressing The island where it s set is not quite the one from the home movies, but it s very nearby Much of the flora and fauna bird cherry trees, long tailed ducks are also common in the Kalevala, and consequently these species now seem to me, rightly or wrongly, to be archetypally Finnish Anyway, this small rural island provides a closed literally insular world within which our two characters little Sophia and Grandmother, only ever so called can talk, play, learn This could so easily be twee or trite ha ha, kids say the funniest things and old folks have lots of homespun wisdom to impart but it s not, it s brilliant I believed every word The chapters are independent anecdotes which blend into each other in the way that summer days do when you re very young.I find this sort of writing which has no real plot but is all about exploring characters very hard to do and I am always lost in admiration when I see it done well Sophia and Grandmother strike me as absolutely real, but even the cameos are brilliantly described Jansson has a real flair for these thumbnail character sketches, unusual and specific Eriksson was small and strong and the colour of the landscape, except that his eyes were blue When people talked about him or thought about him, it seemed natural to lift their heads and gaze out over the sea A s long as he stayed, he had everyone s undivided attention No one did anything, no one looked at anything but Eriksson They would hang on his every word, and when he was gone and nothing had actually been said, their thoughts would dwell gravely on what he had left unspoken.Sophia s endearing curiosity and strong mindedness, her grandmother s no nonsense brand of wisdom, are things that readers will have to discover for themselves, resistant as they are to being captured in quotations One of my favourite chapters was the one where Grandmother was visited by an old friend, and we see her for the first time away from Sophia and talking to another grown up we realise that talking to adults requires just as much care and dissembling as talking to children.Suddenly he burst out, And now Backmansson is gone Where did he go He is no longer among us, Verner explained angrily Oh, you mean he s dead, said Grandmother She started thinking about all the euphemisms for death, all the anxious taboos that had always fascinated her It was too bad you could never have an intelligent discussion on the subject People were either too young or too old, or else they didn t have time.Jansson manages to have her cake and eat it too She allows us to enjoy Grandmother, in all her magisterial forthrightness but she herself as a writer is anything but blunt She is subtle, and the book s themes accumulate gradually while you re concentrating on something else.It has to be said too that the American English translation from Thomas Teal is outstanding, almost flawless Sort Of Books, who reprinted this in Britain, went on to commission translations of all Jansson s other fiction for adults, including from Teal once they d tracked him down he produced The Summer Book in the 1970s, and temporarily retired from translating soon after to concentrate on speechwriting Sort Of also paid him accumulated royalties even though he didn t own any of the copyright he tells the story here, and it s likely to endear you to this very small publishing house, which only releases two or three books a year.This and the NYRB edition also include an introduction from Esther Freud with whose Hideous Kinky I now see many connections , in which she meets the real life Sophia, who is now of course a grown woman The very idea of this is heartbreaking to me but then that s one of the lessons this book teaches you so painlessly, like the deliciously sugared pill it is, allowing you to smile honestly even as you watch Super 8 footage of someone turning to the camera on a beach sixty years ago, desaturated, a little jerky, laughing over and over again as the tape loops round. One time in April there was a full moon, and the sea was covered with ice.Do you remember when you were a child, so many books were enchanting, casting a spell of wonder and reverence over you that you carried around long after the book was finished Even if the book contained absolutely no magic or fantasy, but was down to earth, about the lives of real people and ordinary experiences told in an extraordinary way Then you graduated to adult books and began to wonder why really wonderful books and authors for adults were so rare and difficult to discover Like this summer island, a perfectly ordinary and absolutely enchanted place off the coast of Finland, where Grandmother and her granddaughter Sophia spend every summer from Sophia s early childhood through her adolescent years Grandmother is a sculptor, a lover of nature, unconventional Sophia has inherited her strong personality and way of speaking they clash and complement one another and have a real grandmother granddaughter friendship These are the happenings we carry with us through our lives, if we are so lucky to have them captured in fresh, prose poem like vignettes, jewels of prose The book is structured as a series of stories that together form a novella Sophia woke up and remembered that they had come back to the island and that she had a bed to herself because her mother was dead The fire was still burning in the stove, and the flames flickered on the ceiling, where the boots were hung up to dry She climbed down to the floor, which was very cold, and looked out through the window.This passage, at the beginning of the second chapter vignette, is the only explicit mention of Sophia s underlying grief, which breaks through in subtle and unexpected ways at various times of which her paternal grandmother is always conscious and careful recalling in a new light the book s humorous opening It was an early, very warm morning in July, and it had rained during the night The bare granite steamed, the moss and crevices were drenched with moisture, and all the colors everywhere had deepened Below the veranda, the vegetation in the morning shade was like a rain forest of lush, evil leaves and flowers, which she had to be careful not to break as she searched She held one hand in front of her mouth and was constantly afraid of losing her balance What are you doing asked little Sophia Nothing, her grandmother answered That is to say, she added angrily, I m looking for my false teeth The child came down from the veranda Where did you lose them Here, said her grandmother I was standing right there and they fell somewhere in the peonies They looked together Let me, Sophia said You can hardly walk Move over She dived beneath the flowering roof of the garden and crept among green stalks and stems It was pretty and mysterious down on the soft black earth And there were the teeth, white and pink, a whole mouthful of old teeth I ve got them the child cried, and stood up Put them in But you can t watch, Grandmother said That s private I want to watch, she said So Grandmother put the teeth in, with a smacking noise They went in very easily It had really hardly been worth mentioning When are you going to die the child asked And Grandmother answered, Soon But that is not the least concern of yours Why, why, are my public libraries not stuffed full of books by Tove Jansson who is now, based only on this book, one of my favorite authors My local libraries do carry her children s books but not one of her novels for adults Although this book might also be read aloud and shared with an older child or adolescent I was both delighted and bemused to receive this book through interlibrary loan all the way from McAllen, Texas, near the Mexican border although I live in North Texas, quite far from McAllen.There are already several excellent reviews of this book so I will direct you to them for , and thank you, Dolors, for your gift of making me want to read this book Dolors review s.penkevich s review Totally charming and remarkably deep little book makes for a very happy afternoon Jannson s talent shines through in her depiction of both the old and the young The Grandmother and Sophia have much in common and the novel is revelation on how to write different ages with honesty and clarity It s such a lean thing that it s not particularly worth pulling out individual episodes, but there are a couple of moments Sophia s book on worms, a thwarted party that will stick with me Gorgeous descriptions A wonderful consistency in usage of words like nice and pretty, words that should be used often.If I had to describe it, I would say that it s sort of the spiritual link between Sei Shonagon and Lydia Davis. I d temporarily put away The Horn Island Logs of Walter Inglis Anderson to get to other books and then this one arrived from the library The character of Grandmother and the setting immediately called to mind Anderson and the tiny island of his nonfictional logs Both Anderson and Grandmother live at times on an island where they are tolerant, though very wary, of outsiders They find their place in the island world by observing the minutest of lives there, knowing they re just another small element They are determined to become a part of its ecosystem without changing it, though they are too much of realists to know that doing so completely is possible Neither is sentimental about the natural world, or really about anything They are artists and create works, carved out of wood, that are ephemeral and that others will not necessarily see They the carvings retained their wooden souls, and the curve of their backs and legs had the enigmatic shape of growth itself and remained a part of the decaying forest Grandmother worked only in old wood that had already found its form That is, she saw and selected those pieces of wood that expressed what she wanted them to say. Walter Anderson s Father Mississippi, carved from an oak tree that fell during a 1947 hurricane It weathered away over the next ten years Only the deer in the left foreground survived Grandmother is the book s force, but the interactions between her and Sophia, her young granddaughter, fuel it Sophia s mother has died before the book starts and, though there is only one mention of it, Sophia s outbursts, actions and reactions are colored by her personal tragedy Grandmother, though always remaining true to her cranky self, understands, worries and mostly knows what to do to help Sophia The heart of the book for me is the chapter called Angleworms and Others After being traumatized by accidentally cutting a worm in two with her spade, Sophia dictates a book to Grandmother They the two halves of an angleworm couldn t grow back together, because they were terribly upset, andthey didn t stop to think, either And they knew that by and by they d grow out again, both of them I think they looked at each other, and thought they looked awful, and then crawled away from each other as fast as they could Then they started to think They realized that from now on life would be quite different, but they didn t know how, that is, in what way. Papa Grandmother s son and Sophia s father is in the background, usually working in his old robe, on the other side of the wall from whatever inside activity Grandmother and Sophia might be engaging in at the time right where Sophia likes him to be She feels guilty and scared when she eats all the bread and he has to go out for supplies While the three are relaxing on a distant skerry one August day, a storm for the ages blows in and the family takes refuge in an abandoned cottage Inside, after stoking the stove, Papa went back to his work , causing me to wonder what kind of work he does that could ve been brought along with his fishing nets and their picnic basket I also wondered if Papa had turned into a workaholic due to grief, though there s nothing in the text to support that Grandmother and Sophia know, naturally, his role as the middle aged in relation to the very old and the very young. This thin volume composed of twenty two separate and sometimes isolating sections called crystalline vignettes on the back book cover somehow holds a whole world It s set on a small island near Finland, where the family at the center of this book spends their summers The family consists of Sophia, a six year old girl, her grandmother, and her father, who is also the grandmother s son Conspicuously absent is the girl s mother, who, we learn from a single reference to her in the second vignette, has died at some point during the last year One time in April there was a full moon, and the sea was covered with ice Sophia woke up and remembered they had come back to the island and that she had a bed to herself because her mother was dead.The father, while providing warmth, security, and support, is largely absent from the daily doings of Sophia and her grandmother He gets to travel beyond the island, while they are largely left behind and on their own But the two left behind are well matched The grandmother is respectful of her granddaughter, taking time to think and respond carefully to Sophia s many questions Sometimes that response helps Sophia learn, as when her grandmother encourages Sophia to draw pictures, angry pictures, that help Sophia come to terms with her not always sunny feelings In another similar instance, her grandmother responds by helping Sophia come to terms with her own worries about life and death, right and wrong by encouraging her to write her own book about angleworms and other unfortunate creatures Because Sophia is only six and cannot spell every word correctly, her grandmother agrees to take dictation Sophia goes on and on about her own conflicts mice are pests but she hates it when they die and thoughts and fears about life and death When, after many pages, Sophia finally tells her grandmother to write The End, her grandmother offers to read it all back to Sophia But the six year old, having gotten her feelings out, is ready to move on No, Sophia said No, I don t think so I don t have time right now But you can save it for my children.Sophia tries hard not to be too worried by all the things that suddenly frighten her Her grandmother tries not to be too sad about her own losses in life The grandmother is losing enthusiasm for things that had once mattered greatly and is losing her physical agility and strength She is ever aware of how near death now seems Sophia and her grandmother are almost a perfect pair, a young beginner and an old woman slowing down, together they care well for each other But as much as the vignettes are about these two characters and the others who are occasionally brought into the story, the real main character of this book is the island itself Alone in the middle of the sea, the island contains its own complete biosphere Plants and animals live together in rough harmony Years pass, seasons change, weather happens, and among the plants and animals, there are many deaths and as many new births Always balanced and never especially mindful of its human occupants who come and go on their own timetable, the island maintains itself, unconsciously demonstrating to Sophia and her grandmother how life must be lived. {Free Epub} õ Sommarboken · An Elderly Artist And Her Six Year Old Granddaughter While Away A Summer Together On A Tiny Island In The Gulf Of Finland Gradually, The Two Learn To Adjust To Each Other S Fears, Whims And Yearnings For Independence, And A Fierce Yet Understated Love Emerges One That Encompasses Not Only The Summer Inhabitants But The Island Itself, With Its Mossy Rocks, Windswept Firs And Unpredictable SeasFull Of Brusque Humour And Wisdom, The Summer Book Is A Profoundly Life Affirming Story Tove Jansson Captured Much Of Her Own Experience And Spirit In The Book, Which Was Her Favourite Of The Novels She Wrote For Adults This New Edition Sees The Return Of A European Literary Gem Fresh, Authentic And Deeply Humane Swedish speaking Finnish Tove Jansson 1914 2001 , author of Moomin books, was a lesbian Coming from highly artistic family, she wrote and illustrated the famous Moomin children s book that came out after WWII when she felt like creating something innocent That children s book became the most popular series in Europe in the 40 s and 50 s.Then came the death of her mother in 1972 Sad and grieving, she wrote The Summer Book which is now considered as a Scandinavian classic and has never been out of print It is a story of one summer in a tiny island in the Gulf of Finland where an elderly artist and her 6 y o granddaughter, Sophia stayed together with Sophia s dad The island is so tiny that it took the author, Esther Freud who wrote the book s introduction to the edition I read 4 1 2 minutes to go around it This latest edition has even pictures of the real life characters and a couple of pictures showing the island or a part of it The characters of the grandmother and Sophia were said to be based on Jansson s niece, Sophia Jansson and her mother, Signe Hammarsten Jansson However, in the story, it is obvious that the 6 y o Sophia is Tove she woke up realizing that she has no one to share her bed with as her mother has just died and the dialogue that she had with her grandmother, wanting to instead call her mother What I like about this book is its subtlety It does not tell you how you should feel but it is through your reading and processing the dialogues when you realized how the relationship of the grandmother and Sophia can make a difference in your life Jansson s choice of characters is exquisite In one of the dialogues, the grandmother saysPeople were either too young or too old, or else they didn t have timeA line that is an eye opener or a reminder that we who are in between these two characters should stop once in a while and smell the roses It also helps that Jansson s thoughts on death are sprinkled everywhere in those conversations as those help readers realize that life is too short to miss the scent of the roses.Tove Jansson, just like my favorite Virginia Woolf 1882 1941 , is a true artist If I were born during either of their lifetimes, I would have courted one of them to be my wife or maybe just as friend as both preferred to have women as life partners.