Deception—the lies we tell ourselves and the lies we tell others—is the subject of this, Tove Jansson’s most unnerving and unpredictable novel. Here Jansson takes a darker look at the subjects that animate the best of her work, from her sensitive tale of island life, The Summer Book, to her famous Moomin stories: solitude and community, art and life, love and hate.
Snow has been falling on the village all winter long. It covers windows and piles up in front of doors. The sun rises late and sets early, and even during the day there is little to do but trade tales. This year everybody’s talking about Katri Kling and Anna Aemelin. Katri is a yellow-eyed outcast who lives with her simpleminded brother and a dog she refuses to name. She has no use for the white lies that smooth social intercourse, and she can see straight to the core of any problem. Anna, an elderly children’s book illustrator, appears to be Katri’s opposite: a respected member of the village, if an aloof one. Anna lives in a large empty house, venturing out in the spring to paint exquisitely detailed forest scenes. But Anna has something Katri wants, and to get it Katri will take control of Anna’s life and livelihood. By the time spring arrives, the two women are caught in a conflict of ideals that threatens to strip them of their most cherished illusions.
|Publisher:||New York Review Books|
|Series:||NYRB Classics Series|
|Sold by:||Penguin Random House Publisher Services|
|File size:||474 KB|
About the Author
Ali Smith is the author of seven works of fiction, including the novel Hotel World, which was short-listed for the Booker Prize in 2001, and The Accidental, which won the Whitbread Award in 2005 and was short-listed for the 2005 Man Booker Prize.
Thomas Teal has translated Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book,Sun City, and Fair Play, for which he was awarded the Bernard Shaw Prize for translation from the Swedish for the years 2007–2009.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I've read and enjoyed Jansson's Moomin series for children, so I decided to give this one a try; I wasn't disappointed. The story is set in a small town in the dead of winter. Specifics aren't given about the exact time, nor the exact location... but that doesn't really matter. The plot slowly emerges, like blades of grass poking through snow. It's to the point, without indulgent prose. For that alone, I would recommend this book. It's well-written, compelling, and not "stuffy" to read.