Surely no other children's book in the history of literature was written less with children in mind. The Moomin family are hippo-like funny cartoon creatures so it is not unreasonable to assume any books they feature in must be light in tone and aimed at very young readers.
That is absolutely not the case in this, the last of the Moomin books proper.
In fact, Tove Jansson examines deep and serious issues here, the effect is rather disconcerting if the reader has only experienced early Moomin works like "Comet in Moominland" before reading this book; Rather like Ingmar Bergman writing and directing an episode of "the Smurfs" TV cartoon series.
Actually, the Moominfamily evolved from the sunny stories of the earliest books, through works like "Moominpappa at Sea" where more adult themes of isolation and loss are examined. Here, in "November" almost all of the childish aspects of the series are stripped away. Even the Moomims themselves do not appear. Like Godot, they are the promised meaningful conclusion that, painfully, never comes.
The collection of (mostly) minor supporting characters discuss life and its meaning or lack of meaning e.g. :
""There's one thing that's funny" said the Hemulen."Sometimes I feel that everything we say and do and everything that happens has happend once before,eh?"...."Will you always be the same?"Fillyjonk asked...Grandpa-Grumble looked from one to the other, he was very tired of...their talk about things which didn't make anything seem more real."It's cold here," he said.." (p139)
Tove Jansson was a genius writer and this atmospheric, beautiful book is as good as anything she wrote.
Rather unfairly, she is also a genius atrist. The sketches, line drawings and larger picures that fill this work are a delight.My own favourite is the drawing of the waterfront houses , deserted and cold.(p.13)