The Summer Book

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Re: The Summer Book

Post by dsimpson on Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:51 am

This is probably very bad of me--maybe because I am not close to my own dad, or that I just saw this as a story of Sophia and her grandmother and so any other adults were just going to be off in the background, but I never really questioned why her father was such a quiet presence. I've always been closer to women in my family so it's a relationship I understand--the closeness to the grandmother--particularly when her own mother has just died. Is the grandmother the mother's mom or the father's mom?

And I had never heard of Moomin books or even Tove Jansson until I started blogging. My library has all of one of the titles--an older one (and I discovered we have also have The Summer Book (the 1974 edition). We have The Exploits of Moominpappa--which has 156 pages, so it must be for middle school-age readers? I will have to go take a look at it tomorrow at work!

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Re: The Summer Book

Post by dsimpson on Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:52 am

Oh, and very bad of me, but I always have one eye on the next book--can't wait to see what you pick, Rohan!

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Re: The Summer Book

Post by iliana on Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:33 am

Rohan wrote:
I quite feared for Grandmother's health, and I admire Jansson for not giving us a tear-jerker ending, though I felt at the end she was rather waiting for ... the end. But she (both Jansson and Grandmother, really) is so unsentimental. Not unemotional, just not about to sit around and mope, even if she's just had to lie down, or throw up.

I'm right there with you. As much as I did enjoy the book, I did have that sense of waiting for the shoe to drop. I just kept thinking something bad was going to happen to the grandmother.

With regards to the dad, I thought it was interesting when the grandmother mentions about needing to remind Sophia's father that Sophia is still afraid of the water, or something like that. I'm sorry I don't have my book/notes with me. I just thought he really left all the life skills learning to the grandmother. I wasn't so sure that he was consumed with grief. I just thought he was distant and/or working.

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Re: The Summer Book

Post by Rebecca H. on Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:07 pm

Good question about whose parent the grandmother is; I think she's the father's mother because of the exchange she and Sophia have about how the father is the only one who gets to call her "mama." He could call his mother-in-law "mama," of course, but my guess is that since the grandmother doesn't let Sophia call her that, she wouldn't let the father either, unless he really were her son.

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