Letters from Klara

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Read 07/08/2018-10/08/2017

Rating: 4 stars

Read for the Reader’s Room European Backpacking Challenge

Published in Swedish in 1991, and recently translated into English, Letters from Klara is a collection of short stories written by Tove Jansson in her seventies. The Summer Book and The True Deceiver are still my favourites of Jansson’s literature for adults (as though the Moomin books aren’t for adults), but this collection was a blessed relief after the shocker I just finished. Continue reading

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Travelling Light

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Read 06/03/2017-08/03/2017

Rating: 4 stars

Read for The Reader’s Room Winter Challenge.

I’m a big fan of Tove Jansson’s Moomin stories. I have been from childhood, when I borrowed Comet in Moominland from my primary school library. I love the way they deal with serious matters and reflect the best and worst of human nature through the curious inhabitants of Moomin Valley. I’m also a fan of Jansson’s fiction for adults, which is steadily being translated into English. Continue reading

The City of Woven Streets

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Read 29/06/2016-01/07/2016

Rating: 2.5 stars

I feel sorry for this book. It has some interesting ideas, and a lot of the writing is very good. I was talking about it with my husband as we walked over to friends’ last night to play dice based board games. I was frustrated with the author, or maybe her editor, for not paring some of the detail back. It felt at times as though she had left all her back story notes in the book, all the things she needed to write about the society she was creating in order to know how her characters would move around it in relation to each other but that I as a reader didn’t need to get bogged down in. It could have been punchier.

I found it hard to get into. Partly because I was still thinking about the characters in The Natural Way of Things, partly because The City of Woven Streets is a fantasy dystopia and my brain was fixed in the hard reality of Charlotte Wood’s dystopia. It was such a transition that I had to start the book again to give myself chance to get into its rhythm. Continue reading