Moominvalley in November Paperback
by Tove Jansson
'They can't have moved away without saying a word!' Winter is coming, and the Fillyjonk, the Hemulen, Toft, Mymble, etc. are all waiting in Moominvalley to see the Moomins return home.
Winter doesn't seem right without them ...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 160 pages, illustrations, map
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 28/11/1974
- Category: General
- ISBN: 9780140307153
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by tikitu-reviews
As I understand it this was one of the last Moomin books Tove Jansson wrote, and they seem to have been getting more melancholy and grown-up as they go along. This one is really quite unhappy, with characters often feeling embarassed or ashamed for one another -- not at all the happy accepting environment of the earlier stories. The Moomin family has left the valley, and lots of the odd hangers-on (The Hemulen, the Fillyjonk, Mymble, and so on) come to visit in the autumn. Only without the stabilising influence of Moominmama and Moominpapa, they all get on each others nerves and nothing quite goes the way it should do.What's particularly interesting is to see the characters growing up in subtle little ways. They're becoming less predictable and childlike, but this involves acquiring adult insecurities and unhappinesses. Despite a sort-of-happy ending, the dominant tone is discomfort (rather than the more innocent melancholy that we expect).The writing is still as lovely as ever, though, and there are flashes of the same careless humour. Here's the arrival of a new character, Grandpa-Grumble:"He was frightfully old and forgot things very easily. One dark autumn morning he woke up and had forgotten what his name was. It's a little sad when you forget other people's names but it's lovely to be able to completely forget your own."And, more in the general character of this particular offering:"The Hemulen woke up slowly and recognised himself and wished he had been someone he didn't know."I'm glad I read it, but I'd choose one of the others to start the kids off on.
Review by pete_smith
A Moomin story with no Moomins? Well, not quite. The family is there, but as a hope, an aim and an absence.A group fetches up at the Moominhouse, each hoping to find something from the family. The family not being there, they instead find themselves in an ad hoc family- one which is not entirely harmonious.Each of the characters seems self-directed and self-regarding, but through a series of negotiations and awkward situations, they manage to live together. They none of them meet the family, but this seems unimportant by the end.This books is close in feel to the adult books Sort Of Books have issued recently. Not much happens, but you are still left with a sense of things being worked out.It is interesting to reflect that this is the last Moomin book Jansson wrote, around the time of her mother's death. I don't know for sure that knowing this affected my reading of it, but I did find it much more reflective and serious than the other books, with perhaps the exception of Moominpappa at Sea