Through a series of vignettes, Tove Jansson in The Summer Book (first published 1972) manages to create a magical summer on an island, a summer in which one young girl grows up a little and a grandmother comes to terms with her advancing age. Young Sophie has recently lost her mother, and that’s all we know about that. As she spends one seemingly magical summer in her family cabin with her grandmother and her father, she grows up, learns to cope, and finds peace in nature.
The friendship between grandchild and grandmother is the highlight of the book. Sophie is in between babyhood and childhood, while grandmother watches her play with wistfulness for her own childhood.Continue Reading