Thursday, August 05, 2010


I am still in a Swedish phase in my reading. I am actually reading a book by a Finnish author at the moment, but she wrote in Swedish, although I am reading it in English.

Anyway, the book is The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson, and it is a really good book. A very readable and light read, and yet has a distinctly dark undertone.

I shall give you an excerpt from chapter 14.

Anna stood by the telephone for a long time and stared at the snowdrift through the window without seeing it. A great sadness gripped her. It can be sad having a friend you’ve admired too much and seen too rarely and told too many things that you should have kept to yourself. It was only to Sylvia that Anna had talked about her work – without reservation, boasts and cruel disappointments all jumbled together, everything. And now all of it was there with Sylvia, unloaded on her over the years in a dense clot of rash confidences.

I shouldn’t have called, Anna thought. But she’s the only one who knows me.


The Gripes of Wrath said...

Tove Jansson, as is The Moomins Tove Jansson? Ooh, no wonder it has a bleak undercurrent. Even her children's books are written as though through a brittle pane of ice at sunset...

Claire Wilson said...

The only Swedish book I've read had dark undertones to it too. I think it's something to do with the long, dark winters.

Random Reflections said...

Gripes - yes indeed, it is that Tove Jansson. I love your description of her books! It has made me want to read The Moomin books now because I want to see if they are of a similar ilk. I was clearly a deprived child.

Claire - yes I think there are often dark undertones, and the many months of darkness probably make quite a difference to them. They were a cheery enough bunch when I was there recently though.