What makes Jansson's books so amazing is that she has this deep love for people (or moomintrolls) but doesn't shy away from their negative sides. Her characters - especially the children - are frequently spiteful, selfish, vindictive - childish, in fact. They can also be sweet and loving. But they're pretty much always likeable and realistic, even when they're behaving like pigs. There's something really great about that, and it's a rare quality.
02 November 2009
Summer Book, by Tove Jansson
Tove Jansson's Moomintroll books are extremely close and dear to my heart. I grew up reading them and they remain continuous part of my mental world in hundreds of little ways. Until recently, however, I had no idea that Jansson also wrote books for adults - and as soon as I heard, I went and bought one. I was not disappointed. Summer Book is quintessential Jansson - the same simple but evocative prose style, the love of nature and landscapes, the quirky characters, the interest in what it's like to be a child. The book is a series of vignettes, centering mostly around a little girl and her grandmother. There's no real overarching plot, but the book is nonetheless absolutely lovely.