2016 · July · Reviews

Book Review: “Sent i November”, by Tove Jansson

Published in 2014 (I think) by Rabén & Sjögren | Originally published in 1970 | Mumintrollen #5 | 4.5 stars
Translated into English as “Moominvalley in November”

Summary (again, my own translation from Swedish):

Autumn has come to the Moomin valley. It’s rainy and foul weather and the summer feels distant. No one in the family is at home, but the Moomin house isn’t uninhabited for long. The Fillyjonk, Hemulen, Mymble, Grandpa-Grumble  and little Toft move in. From far away, Snufkin also comes walking to look for something important he has lost in the valley. Together, they seek warmth and calm in the autumn darkness. And while the storms whirl and the first snow falls, they try to approach each other, despite their differences.


Just as with Moominsummer Madness, I loved this book so much. I read Moominpappa at Sea for class back in December, and this is a form of companion novel to that. In Moominpappa at Sea, Moominpappa is bored and feels unnecessary, so he takes his family and goes to a small cliff island at the very edge of the archipelago where they move into an old lighthouse. Moominvalley in November is what happens back home, in their house in the valley.

This is such a melancholy book. At times, it is almost difficult to believe that it is a children’s book. But that’s partly what I like so much about these books. It’s possible to read it as a mystical and almost scary story, but there are so many layers to it that it’s also a story about loneliness and belonging and mental illness. It is so cool that the author manages to make these books into something that such a wide range of readers can appreciate.

I loved this. Read it. It’s awesome.


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