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Wonderful Words

Near the beginning of The Summer Book, little Sophia wakes up during a cold night and looks out the window into the dark:

“The ice was black, and in the middle of the ice she saw the open stove door and the fire—in fact she saw two stove doors, very close together. In the second window, the two fires were burning underground, and through the third window she saw a double reflection of the whole room, trunks and chests and boxes with gaping lids. They were filled with moss and snow and dry grass, all of them open, with bottoms of coal-black shadow. She saw two children out on the rock, and there was a rowan tree growing right through them. The sky behind them was dark blue.

She lay down in her bed and looked at the fire dancing on the ceiling, and all the time the island seemed to be coming closer and closer to the house. They were sleeping by a meadow near the shore, with patches of snow on the covers, and under them the ice darkened and began to glide. A channel opened very slowly in the floor, and all their luggage floated out in the river of moonlight. All the suitcases were open and full of darkness and moss, and none of them ever came back.”

Excerpt From: Tove Jansson, Kathryn Davis & Thomas Teal. “The Summer Book.” New York Review Books, 2012-08-08. iBooks.

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