Book summary: Notes from an Island

1993 BY TOVE JANSSON

Tove Jansson describes the little island in detail, reflecting the way in which it represents all the aspects of Finnish nature in microcosm: the miniature forest, with paths, the exposed rock face, the central lake or lagoon, the seagulls and other birds, which the author portrays as being unhappy about the invasion of their living space by two human individuals. The construction of the house, which involves much blasting and dynamiting of rock, is recounted in detail, with copies of lists and surveyors’ notes, and Tove describes how she and Tuulikki conceived the plan for the building: it was to have windows facing all the points of the compass: “one for the great storms, one for the reflection of the moon in the lake, one for the hill with its moss and polyps, and one facing north ‘so we can see what may come sailing along and so have time to get used to it.’

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