2018 · February · Reviews

Book Review: “Bildhuggarens Dotter”, by Tove Jansson

Published in 1968 | Audiobook read by the author herself | Four feathers
There’s an English translation called “The Sculptor’s Daughter”


This is Tove Jansson’s autobiography, told in short story-like chapters that each deal with a different episode of her childhood.


Bildhuggarens Dotter was wonderful, just as all of Tove’s books are. What I have come to appreciate about her stories is especially the language and the characterization, and her ability to tell a story from the viewpoint of a child without it being influenced by an adult eye. I would love to be able to write like that.

However, I have come to the conclusion that listening to the audiobooks probably isn’t the best way to read Tove’s stories. I like that she narrates them herself (her accent in particular is lovely), but these stories need to be properly read. As a reader, you need to be able to go back and reread passages, and it would probably be good to have the possibility to take more of a break between chapters or stories to actually let whatever you just read sink in. Tove’s writing is best that way.

A passage from this book that has stuck with me is the fact that her family had a pet monkey when she was a kid. On the one hand, I’m not entirely surprised, but who has a pet monkey?? It is a pretty funny detail.

If you haven’t already, you should definitely read this as soon as possible, especially if you already have some prior knowledge of the author.


One thought on “Book Review: “Bildhuggarens Dotter”, by Tove Jansson

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