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Moominvalley in November

(Mumintrollen #9)

by
4.31  ·  Rating details ·  6,556 ratings  ·  424 reviews
'They can't have moved away without saying a word!'

Winter is coming, and the Fillyjonk, the Hemulen, Toft, Mymble, etc. are all waiting in Moominvalley to see the Moomins return home. Winter doesn't seem right without them . . .
...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published October 6th 2011 by Puffin (first published 1970)
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Average rating 4.31  · 
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Zack
Aug 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Possibly the most melancholy children's book ever written. While the Moomin stories all have a slightly unnerving, mysterious quality, but this one is outright existential.

The idea is simple: What if there was a children's book where the main characters never showed up? Various supporting players from the other Moomin books converge on the Moomins' house, but they're just not there. Normally, this would lead to a quest story to find the family, but in his case, the Moomins are just away on a tri
...more
Melki
What a weird little book!

This was my first visit to Moominvalley and apparently, I picked the wrong month . . . just like all of the characters in this book. They show up unannounced on the Moomin's doorstep, expecting solace and cheer, and instead they find emptiness and despair in a bleak, lonely house. The fact that the owners are gone doesn't stop the uninvited guests from making themselves at home, raiding the pantry and tracking mud into the house. And yet, life seems meaningless. They wan
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Greg
If you like your children books to be depressing and bleak you couldn't do much better than Moominvalley in November. Edward Tulane, might have had it's moments of despair, and had an overarching sadness to it, but next to this novel it's pretty fucking upbeat.

If Ingmar Bergman ever directed a children's movie it would probably be like this. Six depressed and solitary people separately decide to visit this one family that has always made them feel like life is worth living. Instead of finding t
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Hilary
Nov 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who have read the whole series
3.5 stars

Having read and loved the rest of the moomin books several times over several decades, I was reluctant to read this final book written by Tove after the loss of her mother.

I don't think it's a spoiler to say the Moomin family do not appear in this book. Several friends come to their house and find them gone. A character called Toft, who is clearly based on the author herself feels this absence profoundly. Other characters miss the Moomin family and they tidy up the place and try to do s
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Katie
Oct 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A tender ode to the aura of autumn – drenched in reflective anticipations of the approaching hibernation and speckled with mysterious promises for new beginnings. Clever and wise.
¸¸.•*¨*•♫ Mrs. Buttercup •*¨*•♫♪


What a bittersweet feeling to read the last Moomin book! This was definitely melancholic and felt so weird to read, since the main characters are not even present. Not my favourite, but still, you know, it's Moomin!!
...more
Oliver
Apr 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the previous book, the patriarch has a midlife crisis and moves the family out to a deserted island to allow himself to feel useful again. It doesn't work out too well, but the family manages to reach some level of peace and understanding of their surroundings by the end. Logically, they should return to their idyllic valley to prepare for winter. But when the six characters of the final book arrive at their house, all dissatisfied and searching for one thing or another, the family is still m ...more
Candace
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book so completely captures loss. Like everything Jansson writes, she reduces the plainest and most vital aspects of life to their component parts. Eloquent, mundane, and profound. It was delightful and it also broke my heart.

"How can there be so many sounds in an empty house, Fillyjonk thought. Then she remembered that the house was full of people. But somehow she still thought it was empty."
...more
Rebecca
Here’s an offbeat selection for November. Strangely dark for a children’s book, it’s the last in the Moomins series. Tove Jansson said that after the Second World War she was depressed and wanted to write about something naïve and innocent. She wrote the first book of the Moomins series in 1945, about a family of hippo-like white trolls. The Moomins are well known and loved by many European children, but I suspect this book is more obscure and less lighthearted than the rest. Perhaps Jansson exp ...more
Mira | I Read Like Phoebe Runs
The quiet transition from autumn to winter is not a bad time at all. It's a time for protecting and securing things and for making sure you've got in as many supplies as you can. It's nice to gather together everything you possess as close to you as possible, to store up your warmth and your thoughts and burrow yourself into a deep hole inside, a core of safety where you can defend what is important and precious and your very own. Then the cold and the storms and the darkness can do their worst. ...more
Petra
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Moominvalley in November is the last book in The Moomins series and definitely one of my favourite books written by Tove Jansson. It is terribly underrated but I think it is easily the best in the Moomin series. It is a lot darker, harsh and mature as the nature is in November. I do think that it doesn't work well as a book for both adults and children as the other Moomin books do but I thoroughly enjoy the novel every time I reread it and would recommend to pick this up even if you have never r ...more
Amina
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Last book of 2016 and last book on my other reading challenge (a book with the name of a month in the title)
Moominvalley in November has a unique touch of sweet meloncholy, when you read it, you feel like missing a place you've never been.
The moomin family isn't home, they went sailing. when few of their friends decided to pay them a visit, the valley and the house were empty, and all they were left with were their summer memories. As time (autumn) passes, they grew -somehow- attached to each ot
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Nick
Such a melancholy children's book. But why not? Children are not happy all the time. I could definitely relate to this one around the age of 12, although when I re-read it as an adult, it made more sense. ...more
Helen McClory
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderfully subtly book about the decay of Autumn and the change towards winter, about loneliness, fear, music, awkwardness, dementia, an old house, the wind at night, the darkness late in the year, the idea of the family, a sense of loss and waiting. A children's book written with the firm belief that children can accept all of these things. ...more
Berit Lundqvist
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Sweet and melancholic book about creatures from the Moomin Valley trying to find their true selves. Never understood the Moomin magic as a child, and at least this one is really a book for adults, not children. Some deep stuff going on here. Listened to a beautiful reading by Tove Jansson herself. Listen here (in Swedish):
https://areena.yle.fi/1-4195039?autop...
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Tiina
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kotimainen
It is wonderful to read this in November when the absolute darkness is slowly being overcome by glowing snow. A cute little book about cute little beings. I was surprised that I didn't miss the Moomin family at all. ...more
Stephen Curran
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Hemulen woke up slowly and recognised himself and wished he had been someone he didn't know."

Nobody writes about sadness with as much clarity as Tove Jansson. This is the ninth Moomins book. Over the series, the tone has grown incrementally more melancholic. So it seems fitting that, for this final volume, the Moomin family do not appear. It ends with an absence.

This is not an adventure like Comet in Moominland or Moominsummer Madness. It's the story of a disperate group of characters findi
...more
Ruth Bonetti
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Tove Jansson's Moomin books and discovered at an exhibition of her work in Helsinki that she is an even better painter.
This quote clicked with me to reshape the structure of my coming book 'Burn My Letters' (see http://bit.ly/burnmyletters)

'There are those who stay at home and those who go away and it has always been so. Everyone can choose for himself, but he must choose while there is still time and never change his mind.'

My only qualm with this book is that its sudden ending with litt
...more
Ewelina
i love this book so much. this is precisely what november feels like to me.
rosamund
Nov 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A strange, elliptical ending to the Moomin series. The Moomin family, in Moominpappa at Sea leaves the valley. This story is about six creatures drawn to the Moominvalley: Toft, a lonely orphan; Snufkin, the free-spirit of earlier books; the Fillyjonk, a depressed homemaker; Hemulen, who has recently realised his life is not all he hoped, Grandpa-Grumble, a 100-year-old stranger, and Mymble, a frequent visitor to Moominvalley. These characters all sleep a lot, and wander the Moomin's house, tryi ...more
Helen
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who love good descriptions and characterizations. It is more for adults than children.
This is a good story to end the Moomintroll series. While the Moomintroll family is away, six others come to live in their house and have various relationship issues. I liked the good descriptions of autumn and winter, and the deep characterizations of the characters.
Juushika
The last two books in this series are functionally a duo. The friends who were notably absent in Moominpappa at Sea now come to visit the abandoned Moomin home. This book is more satisfying, both because it benefits from its relation to the previous book and because it has a better balanced tone: the plot moves faster, the book is shorter, and so the subdued and melancholy atmosphere is balanced against the character arcs; it feels like the fantastic short story collection. But it's also a weird ...more
Deana Morris
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you suffer from insomnia may I prescribe a Moomin book; guaranteed to lull your over active mind into gentle slumber within a few chapters.

I frequently revisit these beautiful stories in the small hours, always comforted by the truths we rediscover through the characters' exploits.

The November book brings together secondary characters and excludes the Moomins altogether. But it's none the poorer for all that.

I've never been a big hemulin fan, but I grew to quite like him in this story. And oh
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Natalie (CuriousReader)
In this book, the regular main characters of the Moomin world - the moomin family, are not present. Instead we're introduced to other characters like Hemulen, Tofft, and Snuffkin. I did enjoy reading about them as they all ended up at the moomin family's empty house and following their passing of cold, rainy days in late autumn. However many of my favorite characters were missing (My, moominmamma), so it's not my favorite book in the collection. I think part of the genius of Tove Janssons charac ...more
Celine
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shamelessly itself.
Beautiful.
Jessica
An odd ending to the series. The Moomins are gone, and meanwhile several acquaintances arrive for a visit, and racket around the house arguing and fretting. Some very funny moments, of course, but quite melancholy as well.
Kimley
Wish I'd done this on the other Moomin books but some of my favorite quotes from this one:

"All you have to do is walk out of the door with your hat on at a jaunty angle!"

"It's a little sad when you forget other people's names but it's lovely to be able to completely forget your own."
...more
Sofie
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this final book in the series with a heavy heart ... a must-read for all Moomin-fans.
evelina
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this one. I loved the premise of the main characters not being in the story and how everyone handled it. Tove Jansson is a genius.
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Goodreads Librari...: Please correct page numbers 3 11 Jun 23, 2020 05:07AM  
Stora Läs Bok Vän...: November 2 :: Sent i November 2 13 Nov 22, 2012 05:47AM  

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2,498 followers
Tove Jansson was born and died in Helsinki, Finland. As a Finnish citizen whose mother tongue was Swedish, she was part of the Swedish-speaking Finns minority. Thus, all her books were originally written in Swedish.

Although known first and foremost as an author, Tove Jansson considered her careers as author and painter to be of equal importance.

Tove Jansson wrote and illustrated her first Moomin
...more

Other books in the series

Mumintrollen (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • The Moomins and the Great Flood (The Moomins, #1)
  • Comet in Moominland (The Moomins, #2)
  • Finn Family Moomintroll (The Moomins, #3)
  • Moominpappa's Memoirs (The Moomins, #4)
  • Moominsummer Madness (The Moomins, #5)
  • Moominland Midwinter (The Moomins, #6)
  • Tales from Moominvalley (The Moomins, #7)
  • Moominpappa at Sea (The Moomins, #8)
  • The Adventures of Moominpappa
  • Muumien suuria ja pieniä seikkailuja

News & Interviews

Happy Women's History Month! One of the undisputedly good things about modern scholarship is that women’s history is finally getting its due....
99 likes · 16 comments
“Lie on the bridge and watch the water flowing past. Or run, or wade through the swamp in your red boots. Or roll yourself up and listen to the rain falling on the roof. It's very easy to enjoy yourself.” 117 likes
“The quiet transition from autumn to winter is not a bad time at all. It's a time for protecting and securing things and for making sure you've got in as many supplies as you can. It's nice to gather together everything you possess as close to you as possible, to store up your warmth and your thoughts and burrow yourself into a deep hole inside, a core of safety where you can defend what is important and precious and your very own. Then the cold and the storms and the darkness can do their worst. They can grope their way up the walls looking for a way in, but they won't find one, everything is shut, and you sit inside, laughing in your warmth and your solitude, for you have had foresight.” 96 likes
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