Top positive review
39 people found this helpful
on 6 February 2009
This is a collection of short stories by the Finnish author and illustrator Tove Jansson, better known as the creator of the Moomins. Tove grew up in Finland and spent most of her life in a remote island in the Finnish gulf, first with her artist parents and then with her lifelong partner. The nearly-autobiographical stories in this collection cover her tomboyish childhood, where life is ruled by the adventures the island provides, to her old age, when she has to leave the island for good due to health reasons.
Some of the stories don't stand up for themselves; they seem like sketches that bridge other stories or paint just one aspect of the author, but without tension or much narrative drive. Others, however, are like Zen paintings on the relationshion between humans and nature, perfect glimpses of a life dedicated to the outdoors as a way of discovering the interior. Tove's writing is full of anecdotes which are slightly quirky and probably good representations of Finnish humour. There's a certain innocence to her stories that makes A Winter Book as warm and bright as a dreamed summer.