Bikewriter's Reviews > The Summer Book

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
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's review
Feb 28, 2012

really liked it

"When the southwest wind was blowing, the days seemed to follow one another without any kind of change or occurrence; day and night, there was the same even, peaceful rush of wind. Papa worked at his desk. The nets were set out and taken in. They all moved about the island doing their own chores, which were so natural and obvious that no one mentioned them, neither for praise nor sympathy. It was just the same long summer, always, and everything lived and grew at its own pace."

This little book is a simple and yet colorful book illustrating, in those same simple-but-simultaneously-complex sentences, the realities of life at its core. The unceasing movement of the tides, the sea winds, life microscopic and life gargantuan -- life and death.

A further sample: "It was on days just like this -- dog days -- that boats went sailing off all by themselves. Large, alien objects made their way in from the sea, certain things sank and others rose, milk soured, and dragonflies danced in desperation. Lizards were not afraid. When the moon came up, red spiders mated on uninhabited skerries, where the rock became an unbroken carpet of tiny, ecstatic spiders.
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"There were footprints where no one could have stepped, crossed branches, one red blueberry bush in the midst of all the green ones. The full moon rose and balanced on the top of a juniper bush. Now was the time for unmanned boats to glide out from their shores. Huge, mysterious fish made rings on the water, and the red spiders gathered wherever it was they had decided to meet."

I enjoyed The Summer Book as a welcome interlude in a list of heavier reading. Refreshing -- and instructive.

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