Kel McGowan is Kelligrafie
Finished my book early this week. It's The Summer Book by Tove Jansson. Originally written in Swedish. According to the foreword in the edition I read, it is considered a modern classic and has never been out of print in Scandinavia. But then again I don't understand how a lot of so-called 'classics' receive that title.
Nothing really happens. It's set on a small island, or set of islands (it's a little unclear at times), during summer and follows Sophia and her grandmother mainly and the 'adventures' they have. In the mean time her father is invisibly 'working' or doing something - that is certainly never made clear.
The book was written after Jansson's mother had just died and after reading the foreword I think there's certainly some biographical elements to the book.
But if it sets out to convince that a summer on an island isn't boring, then I don't really think it achieves that goal. Visitors just randomly pop out of nowhere, with no explanation for why they're there. Events just happen and we get no information as to why they're happening. It's almost as if Jansson just assumes that the world has explicit knowledge of the islanders' way of life and skips on the details we could actually do with.
Sophia is quite reminiscent of the children from Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. At times she's remarkably bratty and unlikeable. And the conversations between Sophia and her grandmother can be quite confusing. I think this is where the 'lost in translation' is really apparent.
Maybe if I was Swedish or at least Scandinavian, I would appreciate this more. But it's a bit lost on this English girl!
File under: Kelligrafie, book review, The Summer Book, Tove Jansson