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The True Deceiver
The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
59 posts | 42 read | 82 to read
Deceptionthe lies we tell ourselves and the lies we tell othersis the subject of this, Tove Janssons most unnerving and unpredictable novel. Here Jansson takes a darker look at the subjects that animate the best of her work, from her sensitive tale of island life,The Summer Book, to her famous Moomin stories: solitude and community, art and life, love and hate.Snow has been falling on the village all winter long. It covers windows and piles up in front of doors. The sun rises late and sets early, and even during the day there is little to do but trade tales. This year everybodys talking about Katri Kling and Anna Aemelin. Katri is a yellow-eyed outcast who lives with her simpleminded brother and a dog she refuses to name. She has no use for the white lies that smooth social intercourse, and she can see straight to the core of any problem. Anna, an elderly childrens book illustrator, appears to be Katris opposite: a respected member of the village, if an aloof one. Anna lives in a large empty house, venturing out in the spring to paint exquisitely detailed forest scenes. But Anna has something Katri wants, and to get it Katri will take control of Annas life and livelihood. By the time spring arrives, the two women are caught in a conflict of ideals that threatens to strip them of their most cherished illusions.
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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A strange one. I‘m left with an image 👇

Cathythoughts ..an image of four , Katri, Mats , Anna , the dog , coming together and joining hands in the middle for a dance. They dance , then they step out of the dance and walk away from each other. They are all changed. Thanks Suba @batsy X 2mo
batsy ❤️ It's a lovely way to sum up an enigmatic book! 2mo
BarbaraBB Lovely image. I loved this book 🤍 2mo
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Cathythoughts @batsy @BarbaraBB Thanks 👍🏻❤️❤️ 2mo
Megabooks Fantastic image! I love this one. 2mo
Cathythoughts @Megabooks Thanks Meg 👍🏻😁 2mo
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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I started this yesterday, halfway now and I don‘t know what I think of it… I want to finish it though, it‘s different and hard to pin down 🤔

batsy It's a bit of a cryptic read and quite unlike most things I've read. 2mo
Cathythoughts @batsy It is that ! Thankyou for this one Suba 👍❤️ 2mo
batsy @Cathythoughts My pleasure ❤️ 2mo
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Tamra I have this TBR because I loved 2mo
LeahBergen It‘s quite odd, isn‘t it? I didn‘t know what to think the whole time I was reading it. 2mo
LeahBergen @Tamra I loved The Summer Book, too! 2mo
Cathythoughts @LeahBergen it‘s an odd one 👍 However .. I guess I‘ll be ordering The Summer Book 😄 @Tamra 2mo
LeahBergen Oh, you‘ll like The Summer Book. It‘s all about a kooky granny and her wee granddaughter! 😆 2mo
Cathythoughts @LeahBergen Oh well 😂 Enough said ! 👍😘 2mo
Tamra @Cathythoughts definitely get your hands on a copy! I would buddy read it with you. It‘s worth a reread. ☀️🌞 @LeahBergen (edited) 2mo
Cathythoughts @Tamra I‘ll let you know when I get it. That would be nice 👍🏻❤️ 2mo
Suet624 I remember really liking this odd little book. 2mo
Cathythoughts @Suet624 Yes , there is something about it 👍🏻 2mo
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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I received this lovely book from a lovely litten ..I‘m sure .... I wonder who you are so I can thank you ?! ❤️

LeahBergen Another mystery gift! 🥰 4mo
Cathythoughts @LeahBergen Indeed 😍😊 4mo
rockpools How lovely! 4mo
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batsy That's from me 😁 So glad it arrived! 4mo
TrishB Love that ♥️ 4mo
Cathythoughts @rockpools Yes! I‘m looking forward to reading 📖 (edited) 4mo
Cathythoughts @batsy Thanks so much Suba .... you know I kind of thought it was from you too. I‘m really looking forward to it! Thankyou my lovely friend XXX you are very good ❤️ (edited) 4mo
batsy @Cathythoughts It was one of my faves last year and was excited to see it on your TBR! Hope you enjoy ❤️ 4mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks So sweet!! Enjoy! ❤️📚 4mo
Cathythoughts @batsy One of your faves last year 👍🏻well that says a lot 😁 Thankyou 😘 4mo
BarbaraBB I hope you‘ll love it! Wonderful gift 🤍 4mo
youneverarrived How lovely ♥️ I think you will like this one. 4mo
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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Book that #BeginsWith #True - Day 8: one of our #NYRBBookClub reads same time last year (January 2020) and one of my faves.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Perfect 👍🏻 4mo
Eggs Great covers📚😉👏🏻 4mo
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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A classic suspense novel that reads thoroughly modern. Better than any current book I‘ve read in a long time. I was completely drawn into this world of snow and cold deception. It gave me a feeling of claustrophobia as Katri and Anna circled each other. I can see why this was an NYRB book club hit! I loved it, too.

Great #NYWD22 pick @vivastory and a fantastic way to kick off the (rainy) year! 🌂

vivastory Yay! I read it a year ago myself & my love for it has not diminished whatsoever. Tove Jansson was one of my favorite new to me authors that I read in '21. So glad it was a hit! 4mo
Megabooks @vivastory I‘m going to look and see what else she has available in the nyrb catalogue. I‘m also going to look into reading more classic suspense novels because I also very much enjoyed this from Persephone. 4mo
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vivastory @Megabooks I read Fair Play by her. I enjoyed it, but not as much as True Deceiver. I have her book of stories on my TBR (The Woman Who Borrowed Memories, also pub by NYRB) NYRB has a few excellent noir novels. I especially like both Dorothy Hughes novels (Expendable Man AND In a Lonely Place), Elliott Chaze's Black Wings Has My Angel. I have also heard that Nightmare Alley is amazing. I'm hoping to read it soon. Oh & I also bought this noir 4mo
vivastory during a recent NYRB flash sale 4mo
BarbaraBB I am so happy you loved it. Scandinavian literature is so different from English books, I sometimes need that change. Also I agree with all suggestions made by @vivastory , especially regarding Dorothy Hughes 🖤 4mo
Megabooks @vivastory @BarbaraBB I have taken a screenshot of this, but with both of you recommending her, I‘ll probably start with Dorothy Hughes. Thanks!! 4mo
vivastory She's brilliant! I hope you like her books. I've been trying to get KC to establish some sort of memorial plaque since she's a KC native 4mo
BarbaraBB @vivastory That would be great, if you could arrange that! 4mo
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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#lastfirst Print are rectangles, audiobooks are squares. 📚🎧

Happy New Year y‘all!! 🤩🥳🥂

CarolynM Happy New Year, Meg. 4mo
Kdgordon88 Happy New Year! 🎆 4mo
Megabooks @CarolynM happy new year! 💜 4mo
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Megabooks @Kdgordon88 happy new year! 🎉 4mo
BarbaraBB Happy new year my dear friend. Wishing you the world but especially tons of health and happiness ❤️😘 4mo
Simona Happy New Year 🥳 4mo
youneverarrived Happy New Year Meg 🥂♥️ 4mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB thank you dear friend! 🥰 Wishing you and your family a happy new year and a wonderful, better than the last two years, 2022 💜😘 may you get to enjoy health and lots of fun travel!! 4mo
Megabooks @Simona happy new year! 🎉 4mo
Megabooks @youneverarrived happy new year, Katie! I can‘t wait to see baby #2! 💜💜 4mo
Bookzombie Happy New Year!🎆 4mo
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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I have been posting my 10 favorite books of the year so far - with a few thoughts on them.

Today is a shout out to Tove Jansson. I have read two books by her this year and both were fantastic. Jansson has a unique way with words. The plot in the tagged one is fantastic and thought provoking. Fair Play, about her companionship with another artist, I loved too.

Sorry to copy you Scott, and I can‘t even say it won‘t happen again 😀 #midyearfaves

vivastory I have the feeling that I'll be reading more Jansson over the next month or so. Looking forward to the rest of your choices! 11mo
rachaich One of my favourite people. I adore her writing, her art, her life! I'm going to a Moomins exhibition next month 😍😍😍 11mo
BarbaraBB @rachaich That is so cool! 11mo
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erzascarletbookgasm I‘ve only read The Summer Book. Adding these 2 to my list to read! 11mo
BarbaraBB @erzascarletbookgasm they are sooo good. Start with The True Deceiver. You‘ll love it! ❤️ 11mo
LeeRHarry I really like her writing too 😊 11mo
batsy Can't go wrong with this book 💜 11mo
KarenUK And you were right! We will match on at least this one! 💕👯‍♀️📚 11mo
BarbaraBB @KarenUK At least 🤍 11mo
Suet624 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 I‘m with you. 11mo
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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Now that the year is nearly half over, I have compiled my favorite books of the yr. so far. I will be posting 1 book per day for the following 10 days with a few thoughts on them. These will not be in order of preference, but in the order in which I first read them. Please share your favorites of the year! Jansson's True Deceiver was the first #NYRBBookClub selection of the year & it was the first book of the year that👇

vivastory stood out to me as truly exceptional. I was immediately pulled into the world so effectively & memorably described by Jansson. Katri & Anna have been two of the most interesting, & complex, characters I have encountered so far this year. A beautiful & memorable novel. #midyearfaves Day 1 11mo
LeahBergen I wonder if any of our other #NYRBBookClub picks will make it into your favourites? 😄 11mo
BarbaraBB Great idea! I‘ll post my favorites too. This one will definitely make my top 10 too. 11mo
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batsy Great pick. It's definitely one of my favourites now. 11mo
KarenUK Lovely idea! I‘m going to post mine too…. @BarbaraBB @vivastory 💕📚 11mo
BarbaraBB @KarenUK Can‘t wait to see yours. We‘ll probably have some similarities! 11mo
vivastory @LeahBergen Stay tuned! 🙂 11mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB I can't wait to see your top 10! Not only was this a favorite of the year, Jansson is a new favorite author 11mo
vivastory @KarenUK Wonderful! I'm looking forward to seeing your top 10! 📚📚📚📚 11mo
BarbaraBB @vivastory For me too. I have chosen to include only one in this top 10, but I loved both. 11mo
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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Why do Anna's rabbits have flowers?
I think they may be a symbol of growth masking death.
Flowers are signs of life returning in the spring, when Anna begins to paint, and they are placed on graves.
Rabbits are fertile, but as a prey animal they will die, as happens when the dog brings to Anna (not Katri) the rabbit it killed.
Anna dislikes dead flesh, but is here confronted by death in the form she has used to hide from it. She is not yet 👇🏼

Bookwomble ready yet ready to face this truth: the rabbit is discarded, not eaten.
She searches her dead parents' letters for clues as to why she began to paint the earth of the forest floor, finding no reference but absently noting she began her paintings after they died, and presumably were buried.
Anna needs the fertility symbolism of the flower-rabbits to protect herself from the frightening reality of death and loss, 👇🏼
Bookwomble ...which need for protection she projects onto her young fans.
Katri and her dog/wolf nature eventually force Anna to face the realities of life and death, then she no longer needs the false comfort of the flower-rabbits, which she never really liked, and can engage directly with the forest floor and its rhythms of life and death.
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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I thought I'd fairly randomly selected this as my next read, but judging from the recent group-read posts I've been a victim of subliminal suggestion 😄

BarbaraBB Haha. Definitely! But it‘s worth it! 14mo
vivastory Sometimes peer pressure is good! 14mo
Bookwomble @Milara @BarbaraBB @vivastory I don't mind the subliminal nudge - I've had this book on my shelf for a few years, so it's time 😊 I love Tove's writing, so I know I'm into a good one 💖📖 14mo
batsy Nice! 😁 14mo
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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So.... it‘s been a crazy week at work. Annual Inventory time at the bookstore, so 55 plus hours on my feet this week, and worked until 1am yesterday. So not much reading time..... at all!
So what does a #bookaholic do instead???? Get her fix from a giant #bookhaul!
I REALLY can‘t be trusted with my employee discount! It‘s a red rag to a bull! 🐂🚩😂📚💕

Prairiegirl_reading There just isn‘t anyway I could work at a bookstore. I would probably spend more than I made! You deserve a good haul after that week! 1y
KarenUK @Prairiegirl_reading Honestly, they may as well just pay me in books! 🤦‍♀️ 1y
MicheleinPhilly Good for you! You deserve to treat yourself! 1y
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Kalalalatja Treat yourself! And I spy a little book by a Danish author in your haul 👀 1y
vivastory What a fantastic haul! You def deserve it! 1y
Tera66 You worked hard this week! Treat yourself!👏 1y
BarbaraBB Wonderful haul! I hope you‘ll start with 1y
CarolynM I'm intrigued by The Copenhagen Trilogy. I'll look out for your review. 1y
KarenUK I probably will! It was definitely a #blameitonbarbara purchase! @BarbaraBB 😂 1y
KarenUK @CarolynM I saw one of my favorite authors (Claire Fuller) review it on Instagram... it sounds really good.... 1y
KarenUK Thank you, my lovely enabling friends! 😘 @MicheleinPhilly @tera66 @vivastory @Kalalalatja 💕 1y
BarbaraBB Haha! I‘m sure you‘ll love it and you must afterwards read the discussion about it we had a few weeks in the #NYRBBookclub. For me that added so much to the book. 1y
Suet624 Look at that! Fantastic! 1y
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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I finished it a full seven days late for the #NYRBBookClub, and don‘t have anything to add to the smart discussion held by the group members, but wow, this is a great little book.

The writing/language is simple, but the story is complex. I loved the way the narration switched around and the characters kept me guessing. I‘m still not entirely sure who the true deceiver was, but I really enjoyed this read!


phyhill I love this one! 1y
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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Thank you @BarbaraBB @vivastory and the #NYRBBookClub for prompting me to read this book and for the illuminating discussion—I loved both so much. This slim volume is densely layered with so much meaning but is also just a pleasure to read. It‘s intriguing, psychologically suspenseful, and ultimately a rich meditation on art and life. 5⭐️

vivastory Thanks for joining us. It was a great discussion & your thoughts on it gave me some new angles on it! 1y
KVanRead @vivastory as did yours for me! Thanks so much!! 1y
BarbaraBB Thank you for joining, you made me think of the story in completely new ways. 1y
KVanRead @BarbaraBB Your fantastic thought provoking questions really helped me understand the story more. Thanks so much 😊 1y
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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#NYRBBookclub Question 6/6:

What is the title referring to? Who is the true deceiver?

Liz_M I think both Katri and Anna are true deceivers. But Katri's is outwardly directed -- she uses selective facts (remaining honest at least to herself) in order to get what she wants from others. Anna's deception is directed inward -- she hides from herself the unpleasantness that she does not want to know. (edited) 1y
KVanRead I think it refers to both Anna and Katri and perhaps every one. By the end it feels like a question who is the true deceiver. I love the juxtaposition and duality. It underlines the necessary tension of opposites the book seems to be about. 1y
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vivastory @Liz_M Exactly. Couldn't agree more. 1y
vivastory @KVanRead Yes, I def saw bits of myself in both Katri & Anna. I think that was part of the brilliance of the novel. 1y
KVanRead @Liz_M great observation that K‘s deception is outward and A‘s is inward. Love that! @vivastory Yes, I did too. And think Jansson is referring to herself as an artist as well. 1y
merelybookish This sounds a bit corny but it's like we are all true deceivers believing we can know and control other people and how things will go. It feels like a play on True Believer, like whatever we believe is a form of deceit. 1y
readordierachel @Liz_M I agree. And I think some of Katri's deception is also directed inward. She spends so much time repeating to herself how honest she's being/has been, but there are cracks in that. Like when she makes her confessions to Liljeberg and Anna about the advice she's given them. She can only fool herself to a point. 1y
KVanRead @merelybookish That‘s it exactly! 1y
vivastory @merelybookish The play on True Believer. Clever, I hadn't thought of that! 👏 👏 I agree with you though 1y
vivastory @readordierachel I agree. I think it's always interesting when someone is brutally honest & tells people things they may not want to hear, they're often not scrutinized. 1y
GatheringBooks I love the duality referred to by @KVanRead between Anna and Katri, and @Liz_M‘s distinction of the inner and outward forms of deception. I enjoyed how Anna and Katri wrestled with Mats‘ share of the money: the open guile, the haggling, and Mats‘ own quiet motivations. The ugly revelations by Katri of Anna‘s business partners- were shrewd and destroyed Anna‘s making-meaning of a world where she is complicit in the duplicitous dance. 1y
BarbaraBB I felt like they were also both deceiving themselves. Anna got rid of it when spring finally arrived, she felt the ground and didn‘t need her rabbits anymore. She finally chose for herself instead of deceiving herself by choosing the children, Sylvia, the villagers, etc. 1y
KVanRead @GatheringBooks you mention another really interesting aspect - how Katri‘s ugly revelations impact Anna‘s creativity. How the artist has to believe to create. I think by the end she has understood she must believe in her own judgment and perception. 1y
KVanRead @BarbaraBB Yes! Agree completely. Thank you for these amazingly perceptive questions. They have definitely deepened my understanding. 1y
Suet624 @Liz_M Yes!! 1y
Suet624 @BarbaraBB She chose herself. I love that. 1y
Suet624 By the way, and I'm sorry/not sorry to bring this up here, but there's a movie on Hulu right now called In and Of Itself. I think you all might like it as it hits on several topics that we're talking about here. They filmed a stage play and it's truly something. Well worth a peek. 1y
vivastory @Suet624 I'd seen that floating around on social media. Adding to my watch list! 1y
Suet624 @vivastory can‘t wait to see what you think. I‘m going to watch it again tonight. 1y
daena well said @Liz_M 1y
Reviewsbylola They all are. The villagers, Katri, Anna. But I also think maybe katri deceived the least? I‘m not sure, still grappling with her. 1y
youneverarrived I think they both are. Katri is honest about and to herself but outwardly lies to Anna to get what she wants whereas Anna clearly has a ‘harsh‘ side to her that she doesn‘t like to admit to (she doesn‘t really want to write nice things to the kids for example) and so deceives herself. 1y
quietjenn I agree with so much of this. True deception abounds, directed both outwardly and inwardly. Throughout the book, characters come to terms with those deceptions - see the lies that they have lived with and are compelled to figure out how to continue when they are brought into the open and forced to reckon with them. 1y
quietjenn I love the subtly with which this happens in Anna's case - her admission that she doesn't want the shopkeepers meat, her dawning realization that she doesn't like coffee, and can forcefully reject it. And that all along she has never cared about the rabbits, only the forest floor. 1y
batsy Katri and Anna both are, as @Liz_M says. But I also like the play on the title, in terms of Katri reducing herself to a deceiver to get into Anna's house, but a "true" one in terms of her life principle of being honest. Maybe it means that sometimes it's the deception that can lead us to the truth about ourselves? 1y
quietjenn @batsy oh, I like that! It plays especially well with Katri's beliefs regarding intentions/actions. 1y
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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#NYRBBookclub Question 5/6:

Why do you think Anna in the end is no longer able to dray flowery rabbits?

Liz_M I hope so; it would be a growth, a compromise between the two worlds. Anna didn't like drawing the rabbits -- she wanted to observe and document the ground. The rabbits were included because others wanted them. So if she has been able to maintain the innocence and trust that allows her to draw, but also a little assertiveness to draw what she sees, it is a new, hopefully healthier, direction. 1y
merelybookish I felt her naivete/innocence was gone, and that being able to draw rabbits as they are showed she had grown/benefited from Katri. She arrived at a more honest version of herself and the world. 1y
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readordierachel I took that to mean that Anna had both lost some of her innocence and gained some strength. She often seemed ambivalent about her own creation of the rabbits, defensive, and unsure why she was even drawing them. Her interactions with Katri lifted the veil that allowed Anna to see people as having good intentions. 1y
KVanRead I think Katri as the rational, the questioning critic stifles Anna‘s creativity for a while but ultimately helps her to grow as a artist. The rabbits were never really her. The ground is her. Maybe this is hopeful? Maybe this is her growing and maturing as an artist? Like Jansson going from Moomin to adult novels? 1y
GatheringBooks @merelybookish i love this hopeful tone about arriving at a more honest version of one‘s self & the world. So beautifully phrased. exactly the reason why this novel appealed to me: those tiny gestures, behaviours, movements that are described as they are, inviting the reader to draw their own interpretations of why it is the way it is. Jansson never feels the need to explain: she merely sets the stage suffused with symbols, and trusts the reader- 1y
GatheringBooks - to figure out what is going on in each scene. I love that deftness/lightness of touch in the writing, just wisps and whispers here and there - providing spaces for the reader to gather the smoke and make something of it 1y
vivastory @GatheringBooks @merelybookish I agree. At the end it def arrives in a good place, after a lot of personal struggles. It's a very subtle, but still emotionally impactful book I think 1y
merelybookish @GatheringBooks @vivastory It felt hopeful for Anna. Not so sure about a hopeful ending for Katri. 1y
arubabookwoman At the beginning Anna was child-like and trusting, and also unable to take responsibility for her life and business. Through Katri‘s influence she lost her innocence, and her ability to believe in the rabbits. The rabbits have become “clutter.” 1y
vivastory @arubabookwoman “Clutter“ I like that. One of my fave parts was when Anna & Katri were arguing over the children's letters. There seemed to be a lot of clutter in Anna's life, but sometimes clutter is nec for whatever self-image someone has established. 1y
BarbaraBB @merelybookish I have been wondering about that too. The ending for Katri. 1y
Liz_M @vivastory @arubabookwoman I love the thoughts about “Clutter“. Think of the symbolism of the it -- Anna hides it where she can't see it (in rooms she doesn't go into, drawers she doen't open), but it is still physically present, weighing on her. Katri abandons it, further out of sight, but not yet gone. Anna is too psychically attached to people/societal expectations, while Katri, as hard as she tries, cannot completely escape them. 1y
vivastory @Liz_M @arubabookwoman Yes! Even after the ice melts & the furniture sinks it's pointed out that some of it will still float. She really tackled it in various tones-like when Anna first gets the letter from the plastics company & when she can't find the document she wants she decides to read a book instead for the rest of the day . Relatable 😂 (edited) 1y
arubabookwoman @vivastory @Liz_M Yes, clutter is always with us. And BTW “clutter” was Jannson‘s word, not mine. I returned the book to the library so I don‘t have the exact quote, but in my last note about the book, I have Anna thinking she will paint the forest floor, but “cluttering it with rabbits would be unthinkable.” 1y
Billypar Great discussion on this! I thought the forest floor is interesting because it's where life begins growing in the spring, but it's also where matter starts decaying in the fall into the winter. So having the flowers on the rabbits is almost a way of ignoring the death and decay parts for innocent young readers. But through her experience with Katri, Anna is less inclined to try and preserve innocence for others.. 1y
Billypar And meanwhile Katri goes the other direction - she sees some value to fostering a positive view in others. In the end it shouldn't be entirely one way or the other, both characters become more balanced. But I agree @merelybookish - I'm more hopeful for Anna because her artist's sensibility makes her a little more adaptable than Katri. 1y
Suet624 @Billypar Honestly, that is what I loved most about this story... how they learn and grow by knowing each other. That they move out of their lifelong habits and grow to appreciate the views of the other. I thought that was lovely. 1y
Suet624 @Billypar Honestly, that is what I loved most about this story... how they learn and grow by knowing each other. That they move out of their lifelong habits and grow to appreciate the views of the other. I thought that was lovely. 1y
Billypar @Suet624 Me too! Portraying growth in an honest way is more difficult in many ways than tragedy. Jansson's depiction of this through Anna's and Katri's mutual exchange of perspectives is skillfully done. 1y
daena @KVanRead well said. My thoughts went straight to Jansson finally being able to express her artistic journey had ended with the Moomins and her path had made a turn. 1y
KVanRead @daena right? She chose such an artful, intriguing way to express that. She had such an interesting artistic journey too. I‘d like to read more about her now. 1y
Reviewsbylola It‘s like she‘s had an epiphany and can no longer hide behind the innocence she once believed in. She‘d tried so hard to hide from the world and create her own truth and once that was no longer possible, she had to leave the magical world she‘d hidden in for so long. 1y
quietjenn @Reviewsbylola I keep coming back to the exchange they have when Katri answers some of the letters. Anna asserting that you can't be that honest with a child because every child wants to believe in their own uniqueness and Katri wondering how long you are supposed to let people live with their illusions. Katri has shattered those illusions for Anna and now there is no hiding. 1y
rubyslippersreads I‘m a little sad that Anna can no longer draw the flowery rabbits. (I‘m also somewhat concerned because apparently she made quite a good living drawing them. 😏) 1y
Reviewsbylola Totally agree. @quietjenn I felt bad for Anne. 1y
BarbaraBB @quietjenn Exactly that, well said. And I felt sad for Ann too @Reviewsbylola but also I think she kind of freed herself from (yes!) deceiving herself. (edited) 1y
batsy I felt like maybe the rabbits were a gloss on the world; perhaps an inability to see things as they are, a world of illusions others have pointed out. I too did feel a bit sad for Anne in the end, but it also felt like a small triumph for her. Perhaps now she can make art that makes her less incline to "hide", as it were. 1y
batsy @merelybookish I'm also a bit worried for Katri. But I also tried to see the image of the dog that stays in her mind as a kind of unlocking. The suitcase, "the dog running on and on"; hopefully she's free to go and move around, not remain stuck here. 1y
batsy @readordierachel Great point. Anna's defensiveness and ambivalence about her rabbits really comes through in the helplessness she feels in the face of all those letters from children. It really made me wonder if it was also about Jansson's own personal struggle with the iconic status she gained as the creator of the Moomins. 1y
Liz_M @Reviewsbylola "It's like she had an epiphany..." Well said! 1y
sisilia They swapped places! Anna is no longer innocent (or as gullible), and became a little bit like Katri at the end 1y
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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#NYRBBookclub Question 4/6:

What is the role of the other people in the village in the story?

BarbaraBB Edvard Liljeberg helps and defends Katri and Mats at several points in the book and to me that felt helpful. I felt like I couldn‘t trust my own opinion based on the narrator so I was glad other people commented on them as well. 1y
Liz_M Some of the villagers are an echo chamber -- reflecting and amplifying the negative behavior (the gossip of the storekeeper and whats-her-face). On the other hand, some of the villagers are a damper -- softening and diminishing the negativity (the boat builder that accepts Katri without succumbing to her point of view, the neighbor in whose presence Katri is relaxed and who asks Anna questions in order to alter her course). 1y
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KVanRead I think they represent the other and are somehow connected with Sylvia and the child letter writers. Our 4 at the rabbit house ( great metaphor for creativity there ☺️) are set apart from them. 1y
vivastory I think the other people in the village add commentary at the beginning & help set the events in motion, but sort of drop away a bit as the novel progresses with a few exceptions. It's interesting that the only person who really defends them is the shipbuilder. (edited) 1y
sarahbarnes @BarbaraBB @Liz_M great point that the other characters offer counterpoints, especially when it felt so challenging to parse out my own feelings about the main characters. No one is objective but they help to fill out the picture and make it more multi-faceted. 1y
Billypar @BarbaraBB @Liz_M I think that's a good way to analyze things - the gossip of others does get amplified and serves as a dominant, negative view of Katri and Anna, but Edvard does try to work in opposition to defend them. Like the dog, 'the storekeeper' is another 'nameless thing' that has a tendency to grow, representing conventional society's judgmental view of non-traditional behavior. 1y
arubabookwoman The other villagers give us information about Katri and Anna. Altho‘ they mostly dislike and mistrust Katri, they rely on her for advice and to settle disputes, so to that extent I think they grudgingly admire her. They are proud of and admire Anna as the town celebrity, but I don‘t think they respect her. Instead, they feel it necessary to protect her. 1y
GatheringBooks I was particularly intrigued by Anna‘s friend - the one she calls on the phone - the person whom she tries to articulate her growing discomfort and unease - yet her self-deception prevents her from fully naming her antipathy and co-dependence with Katri. Interesting how that near-desperate plea for help was largely ignored and trivialized. 1y
Billypar I also think it's interesting to consider why Anna and the villagers feel so unsettled around Katri and Mats. At different points, both are described as being like rats scurrying behind the walls. I think they sense K and M's quiet observation and fear what they see and do not say. 1y
KVanRead @arubabookwoman @Billypar I think this ties to the title and the truth/deception opposition. They dislike Katri because she tells them uncomfortable truths but they rely on her for that too. They like Anna‘s pleasant deceptions but don‘t respect her. Mats is trickier to puzzle out. Is it his essential goodness innocence that offends? 1y
KVanRead @GatheringBooks I‘m intrigued by Sylvia too. I feel like there‘s a connection with her and the child fans as well. They like the rest of us see what they want, take what they want from the artist‘s work. They don‘t really understand Anna. 1y
vivastory @Billypar Exactly. Katri says at several points during the novel that what matters are intentions, not acts. But I think that in a village it's all about acts, even if someone is not being openly hostile & only quiet &/or self-sufficient they are immediately suspicious 1y
KVanRead Ooh maybe that‘s a parallel with Katri and the villagers! They also take what they want from her but don‘t understand her. 1y
KVanRead @vivastory Ooh that‘s a good point! Helps explain the antipathy to Mats 1y
BarbaraBB @GatheringBooks I was also intrigued by Sylvia, her role never became clear to me. 1y
readordierachel @GatheringBooks @KVanRead I was also intrigued by Sylvia, particularly in the way that Anna held her up as the only person who truly understood and appreciated Anna's work. But when she goes back and tries to find the letter that proves that, she can't. So I wondered if it was another self-deception on Anna's part. 1y
Billypar @GatheringBooks @KVanRead I found the sequences with Sylvia and the child letters heartbreaking in how alone they made Anna feel. Especially Sylvia - she was her closest friend and someone she felt bonded with but clearly didn't see anything in Anna's work to admire and connect with artistically. 1y
BarbaraBB @arubabookwoman Well said. It‘s all very diffusing and makes it hard to judge - for us readers. The villagers do judge easily. 1y
Billypar @readordierachel I feel like we were writing the same thought at the same time 😅 1y
readordierachel @Billypar Great minds 💫😆 1y
vivastory @readordierachel @billypar If it was another self-deception that really makes you think what Jansson was saying about deceptions. Anna had this notion that Sylvia thought she was a great artist & isn't able to find the letter yet she did go on to become a successful artist. Really ties in with other threads where Jansson is saying that not only do we often deceive ourselves but sometimes it's nec. (edited) 1y
KVanRead @vivastory That‘s a great point. This is a big part of Anna‘s co-dependence. Her painful and fraught relationship with Katri feels on some level to be about coming into her own as an artist. Being true to her own vision and not caring what others think. @readordierachel @billypar (edited) 1y
Billypar @vivastory Great point! Self-deception can be adaptive - Anna may not have been successful without her desire to capture the forest floor to motivate her, even if it's not why she got famous (I'm sure this happens with authors all the time). She was also probably comforted by believing Sylvia to be a friend who gets her. But eventually reality seeps in and forces her to take new stock of how things really are. 1y
KVanRead @Billypar Yah! She goes from relying on Sylvia to relying on Katri and eventually beginning to rely on herself. @vivastory 1y
readordierachel @vivastory So true! Everyone needs a little self-deception, I suppose. 1y
readordierachel For me, having the perspective of the villagers made Katri a more sympathetic character. You see how she's shouted at by the kids, how people think she's strange and cold. She can't do the niceties that make people comfortable, so they ostracize her to a degree. Without that perspective, if we just saw her interactions with Anna only, I think Katri's actions would seem much more monstrous. 1y
arubabookwoman @readordierachel I did not find Katri‘s actions toward Anna to be monstrous. On the whole I thought she was helpful, although obviously not personable. I didn‘t fully understand the financial arrangements re the royalties, but I didn‘t get the impression Katri was cheating Anna. The dishonest action of Katri‘s was her fake burglary of Anna‘s silver, to make it appear that Anna needed a live in companion, but once she was there I think she helped. 1y
BarbaraBB @arubabookwoman I agree that she was helping but she did it for Mats, to reassure his future. Helping Anna was merely a tool in reaching that goal. 1y
readordierachel @arubabookwoman I didn't think she was monstrous either, partly because we could see her intentions and interactions with others. I think if it had been in a vacuum in the rabbit house, it would have been less clear and more concerning. It felt more like using Anna than cheating her. That said, whether it was helpful or not in the long run, a calculated plan to take over someone else's finances and use them for your own ends feels questionable. 1y
arubabookwoman @BarbaraBB I agree her motive was to help Mats, but in doing so I don‘t think she was monstrous toward Anna (unless removing some of Anna‘s innocence and refusal to grow up is monstrous). I think there are several points at which the question is raised as to whether we should look at acts in and of themselves, or whether we need to consider the motives behind the acts. 1y
arubabookwoman @readordierachel I think this is where the distinction between the act and the motive for the act comes in. I don‘t think there‘s any question that straightening out Anna‘s business affairs was objectively helpful to Anna. Katri‘s motives were selfish though. Objectively, as I said, it‘s not clear to me that Katri “cheated” Anna—I.e. what were her services objectively worth? 1y
Suet624 @vivastory I agree. I've been thinking about actions vs. intentions lately. Intentions are often an internal conversation and the outside world doesn't know what your intentions are. Good or bad. Therefore deeds are the only thing the outside world can “judge“ you on. It's tricky though because folks may look to be kind through their deeds when in fact they are doing it for selfish reasons. 1y
vivastory @Suet624 Exactly, what also makes it difficult is that not everyone needs for there to be the same balance of actions & intentions. Plus, I find that it is not always equal among the people I know. Some of my colleagues I invest more in their actions simply bc I can't trust their intentions & vice-versa. 1y
Suet624 @vivastory I wish we could read people's minds about their intentions. It would make things a lot easier. 😃 1y
readordierachel @arubabookwoman Yes. It's an interesting question! 1y
sarahbarnes Great observations here. I agree she wasn‘t monstrous and wanted to secure Mats‘ future. I think maybe she also wanted to feel needed. When she is talking to Mats about the dog he asks her what she expected and she says “Maybe that you‘d all believe in me, trust me...” 1y
vivastory @sarahbarnes I think she was often frustrated when she saw that they didn't trust her, even when she was right. I can't help but think of when she told Anna that it was icy outside & to not wear the felt shoes. Of course Anna wears the felt shoes & kept falling. 1y
daena The shipbuilder was such an interesting character. The storekeeper and himself and how the characters both interacted with them, for me, made the actions vs intention (as mentioned above) more blurred at times 1y
sarahbarnes @vivastory agreed. And the shoes. 😂 And I will admit that at the end of the book I didn‘t know which was the lie she told. So I guess I was also deceived. 1y
Reviewsbylola I feel like it was a good lens to see society in general. Most people are out for themselves and the extra effort to draw in the people who need help is too much. Katri wasn‘t concerned with the villagers, but I wonder if it‘s because at that point she‘d calcified herself. I think at an earlier age it would have made a difference if she‘d had that feeling of community. 1y
youneverarrived They are another point of view. So we don‘t just see how Katri & Anna feel but we see how they are viewed, too. They also added to the ‘who do you trust?‘ atmosphere of the novel for me. They all seem to see in each other different things (as in real life). I was confused myself if I should believe the shopkeeper was to be trusted; but I suppose in that way I took on the point of view of Katri, as most of the time I didn‘t, but then at some points (edited) 1y
youneverarrived In the novel he seems decent 🤷‍♀️ 1y
quietjenn So many smart comments! I also think that, in the villagers, we see how complicated and multi-faceted these thoughts and reactions are. Like, the villagers are wary of Katri and her intentions, but they also rely on her for her financial acumen and fairness in deciding disputes. They don't know what to make of Mats, so they ignore him or take advantage of him and then act surprised when he shows emotion and keen perception of a situation. 1y
sisilia We get to know their perceived views about these two ladies. Not surprisingly, quite similar to what we perceive them 1y
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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#NYRBBookclub Question 3/6:

“He isn‘t coming back. He wants to get away from you.” Why does Katri‘s dog go mad?

sarahbarnes I‘ve been wondering about this. Is the dog a symbol of how the environment threatens to drive everyone mad, or to bring out the animalistic nature of the people there? 1y
Liz_M I did not understand this part of the story -- my beliefs about the normal behavior of dogs interferes with my ability to think about the dog as a symbol. 1y
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merelybookish The dog! I have been thinking about him a lot, especially after the review by @Billypar where he identified the pragmatism vs. romanticism of K & A. Somehow the dog becomes caught between them and ends up neither here nor there. He can't be an independent beast nor can he be a domesticated pet. 1y
merelybookish I also wondered how the fate of the dog connects to what becomes of Katri in the end. 1y
KVanRead The dog has been the hardest part for me to puzzle out. I have this idea that the book is a meditation on the creative process and all four represent parts of the artist. Katri the critic, the rational, the inner parent, Anna the creative, the imagination, Mats, the innocent, the inner child ( although there is definitely overlap and nothing is cut and dried) The dog is maybe the animal? The physical? Katri tries to tame it, Anna tries to set it.. 1y
KVanRead ...free « . Neither of them get it right on their own. 1y
sarahbarnes @merelybookish @KVanRead great points! Gives me more insight on this piece of the story. 1y
vivastory On one hand I feel like it's symbolic of Anna refusing to be dominated by Katri, a way of refusing to change her nature to appease her. On the other, from the beginning of the book Anna has an aversion to the dog & keeps trying to take it outside. Even after Katri & Mats move in at first she only notices the dog as a presence. This part of the story def was a bit inexplicable. (edited) 1y
vivastory @KVanRead I really like that interpretation! 1y
Billypar This whole time I've been trying to find this conversation between A and K about the dog - it's on page 141 and @vivastory I think it speaks to what you noted about Anna refusing to be dominated by Katri. 1y
Billypar @merelybookish Katri mentions how the dog following orders is a relief for it because it's freedom from responsibility. But for Katri, I think it's a relief for her to have others follow her lead because it's predictable, fits with her view of an orderly world. But it also keeps her at a distance from people: she can't connect with people emotionally because it makes her vulnerable and then things become less predictable. 1y
GatheringBooks I personally feel that the dog - unnamed for the most part, stripped of an identity - has sensed very strongly the tension that everyone has mentioned here, and has incorporated the dissonance in its own being, its being inexplicable and irreconcilable driving him mad. I do believe dogs absorb much of what its human companions give off by way of energies. And clearly the unraveling of the house‘s inhabitants seeped into the poor dog by osmosis. 1y
vivastory @Billypar Agreed! I think part of the appeal of numbers & by extension finances to Katri is that it is an orderly world free of human emotions. 1y
GatheringBooks @Billypar i borrowed my book via overdrive and couldn‘t review this passage any longer but i do remember the scene vividly when the dog became the nexus of the power struggle between Katri and Anna and the passive aggressive nature of their relationship 1y
Liz_M @KVanRead “I have this idea that the book is a meditation on the creative process and all four represent parts of the artist.“

😳 🤔 Wow, that is astute and insightful. Must think about it some more!
merelybookish @Billypar Maybe like the dog, Katri is confused by the end as well. (I feel they are connected with their yellow eyes and disappearances.) Their independent way of being is undone by their interactions with Anna. 1y
Billypar @GatheringBooks You're right: it is a power- struggle of sorts between them, and has a very passive-aggressive quality to it. 1y
BarbaraBB Wow, @KVanRead that is a sharp observation. I interpreted the dog as the character being treated by the others the way they wanted to treat each other but didn‘t dare to. 1y
Billypar @merelybookish Yeah, I like how you described that. The dog isn't just a stand-in for other people, it's that which is supposed to obey, and that applies to Katri's own self-control and convictions. She's not used to the way Anna's perspective threatens her worldview (like Anna's naming/training of the dog) so she's left feeling confused by the end, not as sure of her own views. 1y
KVanRead @BarbaraBB I think you are onto something there! That he is a proxy of some sort really makes sense. I feel like he is also a proxy for Mats for the two women. 1y
KVanRead @Liz_M for such a slim book there is so much to unpack! Loving this discussion — so many interpretations I hadn‘t thought of. 1y
KVanRead @Billypar @merelybookish that really helps to explain Katri‘s relationship to the dog. Do you think there‘s a similar parallel with Anna and Mats and the boat? 1y
arubabookwoman I thought the dog was strongly associated with-I hate to say a symbol of-Katri. The yellow eyes, the ‘shagginess‘ (noted by Anna), and the utter obedience to Katri. When Anna begins training the dog to fetch behind Katri‘s back, “Katri saw and understood that the dog had become her adversary.” Of the dog‘s howling, Katri says, “Let him howl out my lament for caprice and self-deception.” As the dog runs away to the forest, I felt much less 👇🏻👇🏻 1y
arubabookwoman Con‘t hopeful for Katri than Anna. (edited) 1y
arubabookwoman All that said, I too am not sure what the dog means. When the dog is introduced in Ch 1, it is noted that it “should astonish us” that dogs continue to follow and obey us, since they see everything. “Dogs must have seen through us, they must possess a crushing insight that thousands of years of obedience holds in check.” (edited) 1y
KVanRead @arubabookwoman ooh that‘s a great quote! I think you are on to something. Perhaps the dog is rational Katri‘s animal side that she keeps tightly controlled but Anna begins to loosen with emotion and play ( the tools of the artist). I really like this because it emphasizes the duality. How both women are influencing the other. (edited) 1y
Suet624 @KVanRead I love this! 1y
Suet624 I felt as though the dog had discovered that there was another way to live. His inner drive as a wolf had been sublimated by Katri. When he discovered there was another way of living he felt betrayed and lashed out. He went back to his natural way of being. Much like Katri and Anna discovering other ways to operate in the world, the dog did too. 1y
KVanRead @Suet624 Well said! Ultimately I think this is a story about find balance in life and in art. 1y
daena I am also still trying to make more sense of the dog. I wondered at times while reading if part of his role was to give us a deeper understanding of our 3 characters: Anna, Mats and Katri in relation to how each reacts to individuals or environments that are wild and not necessarily meant to be “tamed”. 1y
Reviewsbylola It felt like the dog was hoping to slowly build a connection. Idk if that‘s a legit observation, he just felt like he was biding his time to me. And then all of a sudden he couldn‘t handle the loneliness anymore, like it made more sense to just take his chances alone than remain in an emotionally stifling environment. 1y
BarbaraBB @Reviewsbylola that is a great observation. It makes the dog a unique character in itself too - who is also deceiving himself and the other characters. Wow, interesting! 1y
youneverarrived All of these comments are amazing 👌 @KVanRead I love this idea! I definitely think you‘re onto something there, as the dog was like a character. In all honesty I never gave it too much thought so it‘s been interesting reading this thread. (edited) 1y
quietjenn @Suet624 this is such a great observation. And, along with @daena I do think we see the human characters also “lashing out“ in their own way, when they are exposed to another way of living. So interesting the way the dog reflects what's going on with them but also functions as an entity unto himself. 1y
quietjenn I also think the relationship between the dog and the women echoes what happens with Mats. Katri does not anticipate that moving in with Anna and manipulating this situation will drive some subtle division between her and the dog or her and her brother. 1y
Suet624 @quietjenn You've done a great job of pointing all the many ways in which all the characters intertwine in their finding their own center. (edited) 1y
batsy So many great observations here. Good points @KVanRead @Billypar it seems to suggest a contradiction at the heart of Katri's relation to the dog. She wants to respect the animal's wild nature, but she also wants it obedient and completely trained, to free it from the burden of being free. She ends up not doing both. The dog finally howling seems to embody this push-and-pull within Katri herself. And I guess the eternal condition of human nature? 1y
Billypar @KVanRead Sorry, I completely missed what you wrote way earlier in the thread about Mats and the boat, and is there a parallel with the dog. I think there is: the boat is another thing Katri has a prior claim to that Anna starts to co-opt with good intentions. Her intervention doesn't change that Mats gets the boat, but it makes Katri realize she wants Mats to know it's from her. She loves her brother, it's not just about her accounting game. 1y
Billypar @batsy Yeah, that inner push-and-pull is so crucial for Katri, and the dog's turning on her is emblematic of that struggle. You really see that in her sudden willingness to reverse some of her own plotting, first after counseling Edvaard and then again at the end with her confession to Anna. 1y
BarbaraBB @batsy great point about that push-and-pull within Katri annoying the dog until he finally howls and shows his existence and origin. He DOES deserve a name I guess. 1y
mklong @batsy @barbarabb Excellent points. And I think to Barbara‘s point about Katri wishing everyone was as obedient as the dog, I think the dog‘s fist refusal to obey, was the first point where we see Katri losing control. Everything to that point, had gone exactly to her plan. 1y
mklong Anna said the dog needs a name because nameless things tend to grow. And look at the discussion that this nameless dog has generated! 1y
BarbaraBB @mklong Haha, you‘re so right! 1y
sisilia It‘s similar to Anna‘s inability to draw rabbits at the end. At the end, both Anna and Katri are kinda “neutralized”, if not becoming the other‘s version that they despise so much 1y
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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#NYRBBookclub Question 2/6:

How does the setting of the book add to the story?

vivastory I found the setting, & the weather. to be immediately atmospheric. Def set the mood for the story & the characters in a literal & metaphorical way I think. I especially liked the scenes where Anna & Mats moved the furniture out onto the ice to wait for the thaw. 1y
BarbaraBB @vivastory That was a great scene. Waiting for the thaw, for the past to disappear. And Anna waiting with them. I loved the snow. It was so atmospheric covering up life. 1y
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sarahbarnes This is an oppressive environment both in terms of community and geography. It is isolated, cut off from the rest of the world, other perspectives, objectivity. It fosters the distrust, judgment, fear, myopia in the characters. It skews everyone‘s perspective. It also allows for deception - of self and others - to succeed because it‘s harder to check. 1y
sarahbarnes Why do I feel like I‘m talking about the current political environment? 😬 1y
Liz_M I also liked that it was a small town -- everyone knows everything about everyone else. It makes the realization that “everyone is cheating you“ more hurtful, when people you know, like, and trusted have been revealed to be bad people. 1y
vivastory @sarahbarnes Great point. It really is isolated. When the village is gossiping about the Kling siblings the only one who rises to their defense is the shipbuilder Liljeberg. 1y
KVanRead @vivastory @BarbaraBB @sarahbarnes yes to all of that! I think it also points to containment. The two women, Mats and the dog are all part of one whole - I think on an allegorical level they may all be parts of the artist - and this blanketing atmosphere is encircling them. 1y
vivastory @Liz_M Yes, I don't this story would have really worked in a city. It wouldn't have been as powerful I don't think. 1y
vivastory @KVanRead That's a great point. One of my fave relationships in the book was that between Anna & Mats. Just sitting & reading peacefully together (edited) 1y
sarahbarnes Agree on the small town @Liz_M - I grew up in a tiny rural town and was reminded of the unpleasantness of it in this story. 1y
merelybookish The isolation of this community was palpable throughout the novel. And this is not a romantic version of small-town life. It feels quite brutal and like who you are/can become is limited. Mats who is "accepted" is always seen as simple. That scene where the guy thinks he is being nice to let him pull up the nets really illustrated that. 1y
KVanRead @vivastory I adored the bookish relationship between Mats and Anna. Definitely a favorite part. She really understands that language of book lovers 1y
arubabookwoman The isolation of the small town, the people judging others and getting into each other‘s business, is important, but also the pervasive cold. I‘ve read one other book, The Ice Palace by Varjess, where the cold of the far north is so palpably portrayed. I also found that despite the ongoing cold, repeated references to the approach of spring made us feel that something important will be happening soon. 1y
vivastory @KVanRead Yes! So many great quotes about reading in here. It always made me laugh too when they talked about Katri & how she's “literary“ I could just hear the tone in their voice 😂 1y
GatheringBooks Reading everyone‘s comments now makes me think of the setting as another character in the narrative. The cold and the self-contained nature of Katri, the outcast and genius - and the seeming-small-minded/parochial-like sensibility of everybody else add a nuancedlayer to the muted whiteness/heaviness of snow that seems to be pervasive and runs almost the whole year round in its inevitable oppressive-ness that seems almost like an annoying neighbor. 1y
vivastory @arubabookwoman Oh my god, yes! As someone who spent 4 years in MN I had never appreciated spring as much as when I lived there. After two months of winter I'd start to anticipate it almost daily 1y
vivastory @GatheringBooks Well said! There is something def almost magical realist about the weather in places like that & I think that Jansson really captures it beautifully. It really is another character in the story. 1y
KVanRead @vivastory yes that was a great detail. She reads capital L Literature vs A and M who love story/imagination. Katri i think as the rational looks to it for instruction/education they look to books for joy 1y
Liz_M @sarahbarnes “It also allows for deception - of self and others - to succeed because it‘s harder to check.“

Yes, most of the villagers do seem to allow for the deception, but I did appreciate that some of the villagers understand each other well enough to not be deceived -- Edvard Liljeberg and Madame Nygard.
BarbaraBB @sarahbarnes Indeed, the being cut off from the world added another layer. @Liz_M I think the ones not deceived are the ones who do have contacts outside of this oppressive small town atmosphere 1y
Liz_M @KVanRead, @vivastory I especially loved the contrast of Mats and Anna reading peacefully together and really connecting on the books they read contrasted with the earlier scene(s) of Katri and Mats reading together and her insisting he read one book of her choosing out of every four books! 1y
Liz_M @GatheringBooks “The cold and the self-contained nature of Katri, the outcast and genius“

And to expand on this excellent point, Anna seems identified with other seasons; the cycle nature of her art and book publishing and her standing, reoccurring orders with the grocer and bookseller. And that passage where she is out of the house so early in the year, desperate to find the ground thawing, to get out from under Katri's worldview.
BarbaraBB Those are excellent observations @GatheringBooks @Liz_M I am learning a lot again from this discussion. 1y
Suet624 @vivastory Hahaha. As someone who lives an hour from Canada, I concur. The spring is just a slight crack in the harshness of winter. It's really almost summer when spring finally stays for good. The slightly warm breeze and the buds on the tree take your breath away. The smells! It is almost phantasmagoric. To me spring is my New Year. It awakens me to possibilities that the cold has put into hibernation. 1y
KVanRead @Liz_M Yes, the seasons — the way she doesn‘t work in the winter only in the spring when things start to grow. Very literal parallel between natural creation and artist creation. She can only birth her art when mama nature is giving birth. And the rabbit symbol of fertility 😊🐰 1y
sarahbarnes @Liz_M @BarbaraBB great observations that not everyone is deceived and some characters maintain independent thought, and that those folks have more contact with the larger world. 1y
daena So many wonderful points made. I absolutely loved the immersive environment she created. 1y
rubyslippersreads The setting added to the claustrophobia for me. Everyone trapped in that little town, Anna never leaving her house, and later Anna being trapped with Katri. Not Mats so much, because they were reading together out of enjoyment. 1y
Reviewsbylola It definitely amplified the desolation of the characters for me. 1y
Reviewsbylola And I agree, it felt very immersive. 1y
youneverarrived It wouldn‘t be the same novel without the cold, snowy, boxed in setting I don‘t think. It adds another layer of claustrophobia as @rubyslippersreads says. 1y
quietjenn @Liz_M I love this observation of Anna being in tune with the other seasons and the evocation of the scene where she looks for signs of spring. 1y
quietjenn Yes to all these points about the atmosphere and claustrophobia, brought about not only by the oppressiveness of the weather and isolation, but also by the small town setting and the narrowness of this world, in every sense. 1y
sisilia As Katri‘s personality is reflected in winter season, it accentuates the theme of the novel as Katri‘s the stronger deceiver between those two. 1y
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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#NYRBBookclub Question 1/6

Why has the book been written mostly in the third person but at times in the first? What would Jansson mean by this?

vivastory I thought that Jansson's decision to alternate POV was a smart one as it shifted sympathies. I would find myself siding with Anna or Katri, but when I saw things from a different POV it offered a more balanced view. The narrative choices were very clever I think. Esp. when Katri & Anna first meet & it switches from 3rd person to alternating 1st person POV. I seriously don't recall a more innovative introductory scene between two MCs in a book 1y
Liz_M @vivastory Excellent, considered answer! 1y
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BarbaraBB Well said @vivastory. I also felt it kept me focused and sharp. Each time I followed along with a POV and was comfortably doing so the change of POV shook me up. What worked so well! 1y
Liz_M I did not notice the changes in type of narration. But generally, the choice of narration is a choice of how much the reader knows as opposed to what the characters know. So, third person and alternating first person allow the reader to know more than each character and also allow the author to comment on a character by showing reactions to a character's conversation and actions. In this way the author can underscore or undercut a character. (edited) 1y
Liz_M In this story, it is critical that the reader doesn't identify with and emphasize with one character. So it is necessary to use different types of narration to tell a fuller story without bogging it down with exposition. (edited) 1y
KVanRead @vivastory @BarbaraBB @Liz_M great observations! I also felt it added to the simmering tension that underlies the whole book. There‘s a tension of of opposites and you never know who‘s driving, and in what direction the balance is shifting. 1y
BarbaraBB @Liz_M Exactly, that is why you were not able to feel comfortable identitying with one of the two MCs. 1y
vivastory @Liz_M Great point! I completely agree that narrative shifts allow the author more knowledge than the characters have. I think that what worked so well for me is that I saw some of myself in both Anna & Katri. I found it interesting that Anna seemed to be biographically closer to Tove, but I suspect that in terms of personality there might have been a bit of Katri in her also 1y
merelybookish @Liz_M I also did not notice the changes in POV. For a novel this slim, we did get a sense of the community as well and some of its inhabitants. So maybe switching from 1st to 3rd also helps to ground the main characters within that community and how they are perceived within in. 1y
arubabookwoman I noticed the 1st change in POV when it shifted abruptly to Katri in Ch 1. I thought it was to let us get more insight into her. I think the point that the shifting POVs keeps us from identifying too much with one character is a good one. I think some of us may start with the idea that Anna is the more sympathetic, but that‘s probably not where we end. Much more ambiguous. 1y
GatheringBooks One of the things i love about being part of this book club is that it forces me to think deeply about things i would not have otherwise considered. Like @merelybookish I did not notice the shifts in POVs as much - or if I did, it was to get more immersed in a character‘s inner world. Did not see it from the author‘s intention - but more a means to explore each character in depth, and it worked so well. I didn‘t feel manipulated at all. 1y
GatheringBooks @arubabookwoman it was the ambiguity and subtlety of the narrative that appealed to me so. Slipping into each character‘s POV seemed like a privilege of sorts. (edited) 1y
Liz_M @KVanRead “simmering tension“ Quite! It was a bit difficult to read at times. 1y
Liz_M @merelybookish “switching from 1st to 3rd also helps to ground the main characters within that community and how they are perceived within in.“

Exactly! Seeing the villagers' reactions to Katri adds another layer.
KVanRead @Liz_M It was! But it also made it hard for me to put it down. 1y
BarbaraBB @arubabookwoman Agree, in the end I felt so ambiguous! 1y
quietjenn Related to that "simmering tension," I think that the shifts also play with issues of trust, which are also reflected in the events of the book. Does every p.o.v. deserve the same amount of it? What does it say that it can shift so easily without us necessarily noticing? 1y
BarbaraBB @quietjenn That is such a sharp observation! 1y
KVanRead @quietjenn Excellent point! Trust is a really central theme I think — so essential to creativity. 1y
daena I agree with much that was said above. The subtly in which she changes the POV is brilliant in that I found my emotions towards the individual characters changing before I registered the change. It‘s as though she is choreographing a dance between the two. 1y
rubyslippersreads @KVanRead “Simmering tension” describes it perfectly. 1y
youneverarrived I agree with everyone‘s observations here. It plays with the whole theme of deception - who is trustworthy, who is telling the truth? Very ambiguous but so well done. We see things from different characters perspectives so we‘re never quite sure who to believe, and our allegiances change. Very clever. 1y
30 likes1 stack add24 comments
The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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"But you trust people, don't you?"
"Yes, I suppose I do. Why shouldn't I? One sees and hears a great deal about the way people behave, but that's their problem. One doesn't want to make things worse by not believing that they mean what they say."

This was fascinating. Such interesting details and so much character development and nuance for such a short novel. Yes, people deceive others but just as often (maybe more often?) deceive themselves.

readordierachel Looking forward to the #nyrbbookclub discussion! @BarbaraBB @vivastory 1y
LeahBergen I‘m looking forward to the discussion, too. 👍🏻 1y
rachaich Love Tove 😍😍🤗🤗 1y
See All 9 Comments
BarbaraBB This quote sums it all up 🤍 1y
vivastory This quote definitely captures the book & you're right-its very nuanced. Looking forward to discussing more! 1y
Suet624 I love that you‘ve highlighted this passage. It‘s a good one. 1y
readordierachel @LeahBergen @BarbaraBB @vivastory Such a great discussion! So glad I was able to join, and really looking forward to the next one 😊 1y
readordierachel @rachaich This was my first of her books. Definitely not my last! 1y
readordierachel @Suet624 So many good quotes in this book! 1y
85 likes5 stack adds9 comments
The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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Bluntly honest social outcast Katri Kling insinuates herself into the life of Anna Aemelin, a reclusive children's book illustrator. Katri, along with her younger brother Mats & her unnamed dog, move in with Anna. Anna is forced to adjust to her new living situation & becomes slowly enmeshed in a power struggle with Katri. Worse, she feels her ideas & ideals about the world become questioned & slowly dismantled by Katri. Katri doesn't have time👇

vivastory for what she thinks of as social pretensions & niceties, however she learns over the course of the novel that not all seemingly false ideas are malicious in intent. There is so much more I could say about Jansson's clever, surprisingly moving novel about actions & intents, the deceived & the deceiver & the tenuous line between. I am greatly looking forward to the #NYRBBookClub discussion tomorrow. I read True Deceiver twice this month. 1y
vivastory First a couple of weeks ago & again this morning. Absolutely magnificent. A new favorite. @barbarabb 1y
BarbaraBB What a glowing review. It‘s my first five star read of the year too. She can say so much with so few words, I love that. See you tomorrow 😀 1y
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vivastory @BarbaraBB I think it's def a good sign that we're once again kicking off the group with such a great book! 1y
youneverarrived I love that she conveyed so much but subtly, very well written. Brilliant review! 👌 1y
Leftcoastzen Wonderful review! 1y
vivastory @youneverarrived She really did. For a novel dealing with honesty & deception, there was a lot happening between the lines. 1y
vivastory @Leftcoastzen Thanks! I can't wait to read more Jansson 1y
arubabookwoman Great review! I've read it 2x too, once several years ago and then again this month. It's a book that rewards reteading. 1y
vivastory @arubabookwoman I agree. I rarely reread but felt compelled too with this one. A lot to unpack I think 1y
LeahBergen Another great review, Scott! 👏🏻👏🏻 1y
vivastory @LeahBergen Thanks! How are you enjoying it? 1y
KVanRead I‘m about 3/4 done and absolutely agree. So economically brilliant. I‘m just loving it and looking forward to tomorrow! 1y
LeahBergen I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads. I‘m really looking forward to this discussion. 👍🏻 1y
batsy Excellent review! The style of this and how every sentence was pared down to its essence. I don't think it's easy to write so concisely yet poetically and to sustain it perfectly for a whole novel—I can only imagine Jansson working steadily away at this over time. 1y
GatheringBooks One of my fave nyrb titles, thus far. Any chance we could have the march picks just in case we need to order? Book Dep takes quite awhile recently here in the UAE. 😭😭😭 1y
vivastory @GatheringBooks I'm going to tag the next person in the group after the discussion today 👍 1y
vivastory @batsy I completely agree. I have Summer Book on my TBR shelves, will definitely be reading next month & I noticed that NYRB also published Fair Play which I'm curious about 1y
vivastory @KVanRead Glad to hear it's working for you! Looking forward to your thoughts on it! 1y
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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There's nothing predictable or familiar about this cool, quiet, carefully-constructed novel: it's akin to walking on thin ice, not a moment's safety or comfort. A clever book about motivations in life & in art. The novelist is a deceiver as well, & the prose exudes strange, mysterious power. As a psychological study, it is dark but perspicacious. The dog in here reminds me of the hawk in The Pilgrim Hawk, but people, too, have a wildness in them.

batsy I might not be awake when the discussion takes place but I will look forward to catching up later :) #nyrbbookclub @BarbaraBB @vivastory 1y
Tanisha_A I am starting it tomorrow morning 😶 @vivastory @BarbaraBB 1y
Billypar Great review! So true about the hawk-dog comparison between the two novels. I feel like those kinds of symbolic figures have fallen out of literary fashion in recent decades, so when they appear in older works I'm not quite sure what to make of them. I have a feeling the dog will come up in our discussion though, so hopefully that will help! 🐶 1y
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BarbaraBB Wonderful review! I‘m sorry you won‘t be able to join. The different time zones are too widely apart. 1y
saresmoore Your reviews floor me! I think you captured this perfectly. 1y
Cathythoughts Excellent review... I have it stacked, look forward more than ever to reading 1y
batsy @Tanisha_A It's a book that can be read quickly if you're so inclined... I didn't want it to end & am still thinking about the characters. 1y
batsy @Billypar Thank you! I don't quite know what to make of the animals either, but I find with both this and Hawk the not-knowing is a big part of the appeal. 1y
batsy @BarbaraBB @saresmoore @Cathythoughts Thank you, lovelies ❤️ 1y
arubabookwoman Great review! I loved this book—both times I read it. 1y
Leftcoastzen Nice review! 1y
vivastory Fantastic review! This is a new fave for me. Chime in with your thoughts when you can! 1y
batsy @arubabookwoman @Leftcoastzen @vivastory Thank you 💙 I can see it being a book I'll reread! 1y
nathandrake1997 Brilliant review! I've always wanted to read Tove Jansson! Is this a good place to start? 1y
batsy @nathandrake1997 Thank you! This and The Summer Book are two of the books she wrote for adults that I've read; both are good places to start, imo. Summer Book is warmer, more uplifting & this one is the opposite. Maybe depends on your mood when you're ready to give her a try 🙂 1y
Faibka Great review! Definitely adding this one to the list! 1y
nathandrake1997 @batsy Thanks for the recommendations 😄 I will start with THE SUMMER BOOK soon! 1y
batsy @Faibka Thank you! 1y
batsy @nathandrake1997 Yay! I hope you enjoy it 🌞 1y
KVanRead Excellent review. Thin ice sums up the mood perfectly. Agree very much about art, life, deception. So much to unpack in such a short book! 1y
Suet624 Ooohhh, I hadn‘t thought about the dog and hawk connection. How cool! (edited) 1y
batsy @KVanRead Thank you! It's brilliant how slim novel contains so much. Jansson's writing is 👌🏽 1y
batsy @Suet624 It popped into mind because both so mysterious and inscrutable and a catalyst for some self-realisations for the human characters! 1y
Centique Beautifully said 😍 I‘m looking forward to this. I‘ve heard her book of letters is very good too. I might need to have a Year of Tove. 1y
batsy @Centique Yes, a Year of Tove sounds perfect. You can't go wrong, I think ❤️ 1y
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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A cold, windy night seems the perfect time to revisit this one, in advance of the #nyrbbookclub discussion.

vivastory Hope you love it! 1y
74 likes1 comment
The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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An unsettling tone with an atmosphere to match. Are Katri‘s intentions good or bad? Who is the true deceiver? It has you questioning and wondering but I was swept up in it. It‘s short and concise but has a lot going on under the surface. I‘m sure it will make for a great discussion. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #nyrbbookclub

vivastory Yes, very concise & atmospheric. Perfect book to read this time of year. Looking forward to everyone's thoughts tomorrow! 1y
youneverarrived @vivastory it definitely suits this time of year. 1y
77 likes2 comments
The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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The calculating and impassive Katri moves in on innocent artist Anna, eyeing her poorly managed wealth. The setup made me think a grim duel was ahead. I wasn't ruling out violence. But it slowly morphed into this weird, fascinating interplay between the clashing personalities. It made me think how people try to ward off loneliness in radically different ways, but neither making art nor rigid pragmatism really does the trick.

BarbaraBB What a wonderful review. I immediately feel the atmosphere again 🤍 1y
batsy Excellent review! I'm almost towards the end. I feel like it's such a cool, uncompromising novel and perfectly structured ... I'm in awe, Tove 🙌🏽 1y
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Billypar @BarbaraBB Thanks! I think we'll have lots to talk about on Sunday. 1y
Billypar @batsy Thanks! I too was in awe of her talents in making her characters' story so intriguing without much in the way of big plot developments. 1y
youneverarrived Your last sentence 👌 I never even thought about that! But it‘s spot on. 1y
merelybookish Yes! There was an innocence and limitations that came with both those approaches. 1y
Billypar @youneverarrived It's not too common that I finish a book and find I'm still curious about the characters, but I definitely am for this one. I'm interested in hearing everyone's perspectives on them! 1y
Billypar @merelybookish Yeah and neither of those limitations were clear to me for most of the book: it seemed like there were critical moments near the end that clarified a lot about how they related to other people. 1y
vivastory Great review. I wasn't really sure what to expect either. Jansson managed to surprise me until the end. 1y
Billypar @vivastory Thanks! The ability for a book to surprise me ranks pretty high on my list of favorite qualities, so this one easily passed that test, without even having anything that qualifies as a 'twist'. 1y
Suet624 That last line in your review. 👍❤️ 1y
62 likes1 stack add12 comments
The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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I have been having vision issues and have been away from reading and Litsy for the past couple of weeks. It‘s wild how much I miss people who I don‘t actually know! My doctor seems to have things sorted out now so I‘m picking up right where I left off...starting my #NYRBBookClub book at the last minute 😂

Annie1215 Love your walls! 1y
Lindy Glad to hear your vision issues are sorted. 🌻 1y
ju.ca.no Glad to hear you‘re better and back🤗 1y
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LeahBergen I‘m glad to hear the vision problems have been sorted! 😘 1y
Liz_M Last minute? You have the days and it's short! 😉 1y
BarbaraBB I am happy you‘re able to read again. Vision problems sounds scary! I hope this book is the perfect comeback, I adored it! 1y
batsy Oh no. I'm so glad that it's been sorted and I hope there's improvement. 💜 1y
mklong @batsy @leahbergen @barbarabb @ju.ca.no @lindy Thanks friends! It‘s great to be back!! 1y
mklong @liz_m 😂 1y
mklong @Annie1215 Thanks! Oh the things you can do when you live by yourself and no one else‘s opinion matters! 1y
merelybookish I'm sure that was scary! Welcome back! 1y
mklong @merelybookish Thanks friend! Can‘t wait to get back to talking books with you 😊 1y
vivastory I had vision issues earlier this month so I can totally relate. So happy to see you back! 1y
53 likes13 comments
The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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#NYRBBookClub Looking forward to our discussion.A disquieting read, as I age, even more disquieting. When a brother & sister move in with an aging woman rambling around alone in a big old house, are they there to help or ?

Cathythoughts Interesting! I have it stacked, looking forward to it 1y
BarbaraBB Great review! Looking forward to Sunday too! 1y
merelybookish Well said! And I like those kitty paws. 😍 1y
vivastory Yes, I def think this is one of those novels where your sympathies shift & I think that is part of what makes it so effective. I saw parts of myself in both Katri & Anna 1y
Suet624 Hahaha. Love your review. 1y
66 likes1 stack add5 comments
The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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This was a 2 star read in 2014. In 2021, I give it 3.5. 🙃
There is much I like about this book. I like the writing and the details of small-town life. I like the complex characters. I wonder whether Anna is better or worse off for having known Katri. BUT I find the underlying menace of the story gets to me. Reading it makes me anxious in a way I don't enjoy. A testament to Jansson's skill and perhaps my own need to cling to flowery rabbits.

merelybookish Artwork for The True Deceiver by Lucy Vie. @vivastory @BarbaraBB #nyrbbookclub 1y
batsy I need to start the book tomorrow! The art is stunning ❤️ 1y
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rubyslippersreads I feel exactly the same way about this book. 1y
merelybookish @batsy Yes! I'm anticipating a good conversation. 1y
merelybookish @Cathythoughts The rabbits! It's a pretty striking picture! 1y
merelybookish @rubyslippersreads I was thinking I might be the only one disturbed by it. The Moomins are more my jam. 🙂 1y
BarbaraBB I am actually glad you didn‘t like it that much. It‘ll add to our discussion! I don‘t like Moomins by the way 😉 1y
merelybookish @BarbaraBB I don't like the way it made me feel. 🙈 1y
BarbaraBB That is so interesting. I know that feeling from some books but this one not at all. Did you find it annoying? 1y
merelybookish @BarbaraBB No not annoying. It made me feel uncomfortable. The dynamic between Katri and Anna made me tense. I just wanted it to be over. 1y
BarbaraBB Ah! I see, that made me feel uncomfortable too - but in a good way. I do understand now what you mean and that you wanted it to be over. It isn‘t much of an energizing relationship! 1y
youneverarrived It is an unsettling read for sure, not in an overt way but it‘s got an uneasiness to it. 1y
sisilia The uneasy feeling is the one that made me love this book to bits 🤩 1y
merelybookish @youneverarrived Yes it really gets under my skin for some reason. 1y
merelybookish @sisilia It is brilliant writing but interesting how it affected us differently! 1y
74 likes16 comments
The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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Soubhiville @alysonwrites thought you‘d like to see this too 😊 1y
LeahBergen Oh, cool! 👍🏻 1y
sarahbarnes Thank you!! 1y
See All 13 Comments
sisilia Thanks for the link! 1y
youneverarrived Thank you I‘ll have a look 🤍 1y
rachaich I love her 😍😍😍 1y
vivastory @rachaich We will be discussing the tagged book next Sunday. Feel free to join the discussion! 1y
batsy Oooh! Thanks for the link! 1y
Leftcoastzen Just watched it , very good. 1y
daena Finished watching both the authors discussion of her work and this. I am in love with her, thank you for sharing! 1y
vivastory @daena Glad you enjoyed it! I'm really looking forward to the discussion this weekend 1y
vivastory @Leftcoastzen I was impressed by it. Glad you enjoyed it too! 1y
alysonimagines @Soubhiville Thanks so much for sharing this! I look forward to watching it sometime soon when I need a break from the world. ☺️ 1y
66 likes13 comments
The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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I absolutely loved this #nyrbbookclub pick. So quietly unsettling. This was my first Jansson read and I am a huge fan. Looking forward to discussing! @vivastory @BarbaraBB

BarbaraBB I loved it too! Looking forward to the discussion too 🤍 1y
vivastory I'm glad you loved it. The feedback on this one has been overwhelmingly positive. I'm really looking forward to the discussion next weekend! (edited) 1y
32 likes2 comments
The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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#NYRBBookclub going in.It‘s supposed to be a stormy weekend, so all the more reason to settle in and read.

vivastory Stay safe! Hope you love this one! 1y
BarbaraBB The perfect circumstances for reading this book. I hope you‘ll enjoy it as much as I did 🤍 1y
LeahBergen Yesss! 👏🏻👏🏻 1y
Cathythoughts I have this stacked... sounds good 1y
64 likes4 comments
The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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Just hanging out on a Friday night with my #NYRBBookClub. 😉

@BarbaraBB @vivastory

Leftcoastzen 👋😃 1y
LeahBergen @Leftcoastzen Could you pass the chips? 😆 1y
vivastory I like your style! 🍷📚 1y
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batsy Perfect 👌🏽 1y
Billypar I was doing the same tonight: same book, red wine, but there was ice cream instead of chips 🙂 1y
BarbaraBB Me too, just another book. We are living the life, aren‘t we 🤣?! #partyhard @LeahBergen @vivastory @Billypar (edited) 1y
LeahBergen @vivastory Cheers! 😆 1y
LeahBergen @batsy 😘😘 1y
LeahBergen @Billypar I could go for some ice cream now. 😆 1y
LeahBergen @BarbaraBB Woohoo! 😆👏🏻👏🏻 1y
youneverarrived This was me last night too 😂 really enjoying the book. 1y
rubyslippersreads ❤️ the coordinating bookmark! 1y
Reviewsbylola I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 1y
sisilia Perfect set up 1y
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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#whoops #babybrain #nyrbbookclub 😆😴🤷‍♀️

Suet624 Whoops.
BarbaraBB Haha, #babybrains 😉. I‘m sure you can find someone to share that extra copy with. It‘s so good ❄️🤍 1y
LeahBergen 😂😂 1y
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erzascarletbookgasm 😄 I can assure you, you‘re not alone! 1y
Cathythoughts Been there 🙄😂 1y
saresmoore @BarbaraBB It is a great book! I‘m looking forward to the discussion. 1y
vivastory 😂 There's been a couple of months where I ordered the book & later realized I already had a copy on my shelves 1y
Centique How are you going Sara? Sending you and your lovely family best wishes 💕 1y
77 likes2 stack adds8 comments
The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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A biopic of Tove Jansson broke box office records in Finland last year & is the highest grossing Swedish-language film of the last 40 years. This sounds fantastic. #NYRBBookClub

LeahBergen Really?? Wow! 1y
batsy I didn't know about this! Thanks for the link. 1y
sarahbarnes The trailer is so good!! 1y
80 likes3 comments
The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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Starting this month's #NYRBbookclub pick -- which apparently I read back in 2014 and rated it 2 ⭐ on Goodreads. I don't remember a thing about it. 😳🙈
We'll see if I like it better this time around.

TrishB That‘s funny 😁 1y
catebutler I‘ve had this happen a few times in the past too! Interested to see if your rating changes. 😊 1y
LeahBergen 😆😆 Okay, now I can‘t wait to hear your (second) verdict. 1y
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merelybookish @TrishB Funny and a bit sad? 🥴 1y
merelybookish @catebutler Yes, did the same thing happened with French Lieutenants Woman. Only realized I had read it before when I found it written in a journal. Didn't even remember while I was rereading it. 🤣 1y
merelybookish @LeahBergen Me too! I might have been stingier with my stars back in 2014. But clearly I didn't love it. 🤷 1y
BarbaraBB I hope you will now! Looking forward to your verdict this time around! 1y
vivastory Looking forward to your thoughts. Hopefully it works better the second time around! 1y
Suet624 Haha. I hope you like it better this time. 1y
67 likes10 comments
The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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I am LOVING our #NYRBBookClub pick for this month. The photo is just for you, Michele. Our Clara-girl is blowing so many zerberts for you! 🥰

batsy ❤️❤️❤️ 1y
TrishB Aw ♥️ 1y
Leftcoastzen 🥰🥰🥰So adorable! 1y
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erzascarletbookgasm Awww❤️ 1y
Megabooks Beautiful! 💜 1y
BarbaraBB So cute 🤍 1y
marleed She so cute! 1y
LeahBergen Little darling!! 💗💗💗 1y
MicheleinPhilly Oh thank you, Clara. Blowing them right back at you, kid. 😘🥰 1y
Kalalalatja What a lovely little thing 😍 1y
Reviewsbylola She‘s adorable! I really liked this month‘s pick too. 1y
Reggie Oh my goodness! So cute! 1y
ValerieAndBooks Aww 😍!! 1y
merelybookish Those cheeks! 😍 1y
Suet624 Oh gosh. Just adorable. 1y
sarahbarnes 😍😍😍 1y
sisilia Adorable! 1y
84 likes17 comments
The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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I‘m excited to discuss this #nyrbbookclub choice at the end of the month!

This is more of a quiet, contemplative novel. Katri is a hard nut to crack, and she and her brother Mats move in with a reclusive artist. The desolate, frigid setting just adds to the atmosphere. I find myself thinking about the motivation of the characters quite a bit, especially Katri‘s. I think it will lend itself to a great discussion!

LeahBergen I love our little book club. ❤️ 1y
Reviewsbylola I love that it exposes me to books I wouldn‘t normally discover! @LeahBergen 1y
LeahBergen Exactly! 👍🏻 1y
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BarbaraBB Happy you liked it too! Your review places me right back there in the Rabbit House! 1y
Suet624 Great review. I agree with all of you. The book club introduces me to books I never would have known about and your review puts me right back into the novel. 1y
merelybookish Hard nut to crack. Well put! 1y
vivastory Very well put. Glad that this one worked for you. Looking forward to the discussion tomorrow! 1y
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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Enjoying our #nyrbbookclub selection intermingled with shawl knitting 🧶 #knittersoflitsy

BarbaraBB That seems fitting somehow! Glad you are enjoying it! ❄️🤍 1y
42 likes1 stack add1 comment
The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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This book gives such a clear impression. A story set in snow, told in as few words as possible. Below the surface it‘s dark though. Ice and snow melt, the earth becomes visible again, as do the deeper layers of the main characters. Are they building a friendship or were they always opponents? It‘s hard to decide who to trust and who‘s the deceiver. Especially when you‘re not sure if you can trust the narrator. So much packed in one little book 🤍

readordierachel Great review! Excited to start this one 1y
BarbaraBB @readordierachel It‘s so good ❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️ 1y
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squirrelbrain Perfect picture! 1y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 1y
Reviewsbylola I just borrowed a copy of this today. It‘s up next for me. 1y
Megabooks Love this picture! ❤️ 1y
vivastory What a review! Really looking forward to reading this one! 1y
youneverarrived Sounds good!! I‘m starting it tomorrow. Perfect photo 🤍 1y
KarenUK That sounds amazing.... 💕 1y
Cathythoughts Great review! I have this stacked 1y
Cathythoughts Lovely picture ❄️ 1y
batsy Beautiful review 💙 1y
Suet624 A great review and a wonderful photo. I‘m almost finished with the story. It‘s so atmospheric and mysterious. 1y
Cinfhen Gorgeous photo 1y
Cinfhen Book sounds great 1y
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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As I was reading the beautiful descriptions of snow and winter, snow was falling outside. I went down the street to play outside with the grandkids who I haven‘t visited with in well over a month. After rolling and hugging in the snow I tried to get them to build a dog of snow, as I was thinking about Katri‘s constant companion. Instead a pink kitty was what they wanted. This book is just up my alley. #NYRBbookclub

LeahBergen What a delightful post!! ❤️❤️ 1y
vivastory I love everything about this post! 1y
DogMomIrene That‘s a good looking pink kitty💖🐱 1y
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AmyG Great job! 😻 1y
Suet624 @leahbergen Having little kids around help me feel so much better. ;) 1y
Suet624 @vivastory Thanks for talking me off the ledge yesterday, Scott. This book selection is a sort of an affirmation of sticking with the book club. 😻 1y
Suet624 @DogMomIrene Thank you! It was really fun. 1y
BarbaraBB Lovely post. Coincidentally it snowed here too when I read the book. Just for one day! ❄️ 🤍 1y
Suet624 @BarbaraBB isn‘t it lovely when that happens? 1y
readordierachel That is a fabulous snow kitty! 1y
BarbaraBB It is! Just posted my review - what a book! ❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️ 1y
youneverarrived I love this ❤️ can‘t wait to start this book now! 1y
Reggie Lol, that looks like so much fun! 1y
batsy How wonderful is this 💙 And that snow kitty is too fabulous for words! 1y
Reviewsbylola The pink kitty is quite impressive! I‘ve just started this book and I‘m really liking it. 1y
Suet624 @Reggie @batsy @Reviewsbylola that pink kitty was fabulous and the 7 year old had a lot to do with its extra goodness. I loved his creativity and enthusiasm. 🥰 1y
Cinfhen Pink kitty is AWESOME ♥️♥️♥️ 1y
Graywacke Fun, and also I‘m impressed with your snow kitty! 1y
kspenmoll Love those whiskers!‘n 1y
66 likes19 comments
The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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Join @BarbaraBB & I Sun 1/31 @ 11 AM CST/1 PM EST/5 PM GMT & 6 PM CET for the inaugural discussion for group 2 of #NYRBBookClub Reviews so far have been very favorable for Jansson's book. There's quite a bit of interesting online commentary about Jansson. Linked is a recently posted video panel discussion of life & works featuring Hernan Diaz, Lauren Groff, Natania Jansz & Thomas Teal

Reviewsbylola @emilyhaldi lmk when you‘re done with your copy! 1y
LeahBergen Thanks for the link! 👍🏻 1y
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Suet624 Really enjoying this one. 1y
rubyslippersreads This sounds really interesting. Is it too late to join? 1y
vivastory @rubyslippersreads Unfortunately the group is closed as far as nominations & voting goes, but our discussions are open for anyone who wants to join 1y
rubyslippersreads @vivastory The discussion was actually what I meant. 😊I just put the ebook on hold at the library and I‘m #1 on 2 copies, so it should arrive soon. 1y
vivastory @rubyslippersreads Feel free to join our discussion! I'm looking forward to your thoughts on it👍 1y
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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LeahBergen Oh, thanks! I‘ll have a listen after I‘ve read it. 1y
vivastory Thanks! Will def. give it a listen 1y
Suet624 Thank you! 1y
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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Rereading this for #nyrbbookclub Yes, so many tabs there. I loved this book, and it‘s perfect for winter (I imagine there‘s snow in Singapore! 🤪)

vivastory I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this one. I'm really looking forward to it! 1y
BarbaraBB I selected it because of your recommendation! 1y
sisilia I hope you‘ll like it @BarbaraBB 1y
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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We begin our inaugural round of the second group with Jansson's True Deceiver with @barbarabb as co-host. For the Feb selection, @catebutler will be making the nominations. With the post office in disarray, it might be wise to post the nominations early & begin voting. Looking forward to your 3 nominations! #NYRBBookClub

arubabookwoman When is the discussion scheduled for? Thx. 1y
Tanisha_A ❤️ I am receiving my copy of The True Deceiver tomorrow. 1y
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vivastory @arubabookwoman We haven't set a date yet. It's ALWAYS on a weekend, typically the final weekend of the month. I will make an announcement post. 1y
vivastory @Tanisha_A I should be receiving mine soon, too. I was straightening my NYRB collection the other day I realized how few unread ones I have left, mostly thanks to this group. 1y
readordierachel I have procured a copy and am looking forward to diving in! 1y
Suet624 Mine is floating in the mail system. Maybe I‘ll get it some day. Wish those sorting machines hadn‘t been removed. 1y
Liz_M @vivastory Hahaha! I reorganised my bookshelves to have all my nyrb books together. The result? One shelf of read nyrb books and three shelves of unread nyrb books. 🤣🤣🤣 Y'all somehow manage to vote for the ones I don't already own! 1y
vivastory @readordierachel Are you a fan of the Moomin books? 1y
Liz_M Case in point: True Deciever is waiting for me at the library and the copy of Fair Play that I bought in November arrived today. 🙃 1y
vivastory @Suet624 The removal of the sorting machines, the holidays, the increased mail because of insurance info etc. The post office is taking a hit this year. I feel for them. 1y
vivastory @Liz_M It seems that about half of the books that are selected are ones I don't own. I actually didn't buy any in their recent sale. Will probably get a few soon though. 1y
GatheringBooks Very grateful that the selections would come earlier than usual. Looking forward to the feb picks. 1y
BarbaraBB Does Sunday 31 January work for you Scott? I can‘t make Saturday 30 unfortunately! 1y
vivastory @BarbaraBB That works for me 1y
emilyhaldi Woohoo!! Ready for @BarbaraBB to lead us into the new year / new round 🎉 1y
BarbaraBB @emilyhaldi Have you read the book yet? I have high hopes! 1y
LeahBergen Yippee!! Here‘s to another round! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 1y
readordierachel I actually haven't tried them yet. I think we'll do it soon. 1y
vivastory @readordierachel They sound interesting, I think there's a lot there for both children and adults. 1y
readordierachel They certainly have a lot of Litsy love! 1y
quietjenn I've got my copy - actually read it a few years ago, but looking forward to revisiting with you all. 1y
vivastory @quietjenn I've been wanting to read Jansson, this is the perfect motivation. Glad you'll be joining us 👏 1y
catebutler I‘ll get my three choices to everyone pronto! Sorry they aren‘t ready to go today, for some reason I didn‘t see the tag for this until today!! 😬 1y
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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My #nyrbbookclub book arrived 🤍 it has a perfect cover for a January read.

Thank you Helen for the card and the gift (it‘s gone under the tree for xmas day) 😘

Thank you Kay & Jenny for the cards 😘 Litsy really is the most kindest community I‘ve been a part of ❤️ #jbuk

squirrelbrain I was just coming on to say thank you for your card! That book cover is gorgeous isn‘t it? 😘 1y
youneverarrived @squirrelbrain it‘s a beauty ❄️ I‘m glad you received it 🤗 1y
kaysworld1 🧡 1y
vivastory I can't wait to read the NYRB Definitely looks like a great winter read 1y
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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batsy 🙌🏽 1y
vivastory @Billypar 👆(ran out of characters) 1y
catebutler 👏🏼 1y
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vivastory Here is a link to an episode of Backlisted focused on Jansson. I haven't listened to it yet & looking at the summary it appears that the focus is on the Moominvalley book, but they discuss True Deceiver:
vivastory Jansson is also discussed, albeit briefly, in episode 2 which coincidentally I listened to recently. Their comments were interesting enough that I added a few of Tove's books (incl. True Deceiver) to my TBR list. Linking here for anyone interested:
(edited) 1y
Theaelizabet 👏👏👏 1y
arubabookwoman Oops! Voting went by so fast, I missed it. I‘ll know next time. The Great Deceiver is a wonderful choice! I‘ve read it, but will reread to refresh my memory before discussion time. (I‘ve also read Basti, another great choice, so I would have voted for The Manganese Inheritance, which I own, but haven‘t read.) 1y
MicheleinPhilly HAHA! I actually own this one so I may actually join the discussion assuming I read it in time. 1y
vivastory @arubabookwoman Yeah, usually after the nominations are posted the voting typically ends in a day or so. It can vary from month to month. It's never taken us more than a couple of days for voting. I won't post until a book has the majority of votes though. There's been some books make a last minute comeback! This is the third or fourth time this week I've heard about Basti, so I'll def be reading soon! 1y
vivastory @MicheleinPhilly Yes, please do! And I did enjoy having you in our group. Feel free to chime in when time (& Pickles) permits! (edited) 1y
Reviewsbylola Yay! 🥳🥳🥳 1y
erzascarletbookgasm Oh I own the book too! May I read along and join in if I‘ve read it in time? 1y
Leftcoastzen Oh , I forgot to vote! Great choice! 1y
LeahBergen I love Backlisted podcast. I‘ll listen when I‘m finished the book. 👍🏻 1y
emilyhaldi I was too slow also! @arubabookwoman but all 3 sound great and I‘m excited to read another Jansson 🤗 1y
KVanRead Oh wow, totally missed the voting but I‘m super excited about this! I‘ve been meaning to read Tove Jansson since the time we lived in Sweden and discovered Moomin and that was 16 years ago‘😂 1y
vivastory @LeahBergen I just ordered a fantastic boxset of Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising from ebay. It's the Holiday book for Backlisted this year & I plan on reading it beforehand. I will post pics of it when it arrives. 1y
vivastory @emilyhaldi I've been meaning to read Jansson for ages, so this is perfect timing 1y
vivastory @KVanRead I'm really looking forward to it! How long did you live in Sweden for? 1y
youneverarrived Looking forward to reading & discussing. Thanks for those links aswell 😁 1y
LeahBergen @vivastory Oh, I‘ve always been meaning to read that series! 1y
vivastory @youneverarrived Backlisted is a really enjoyable podcast. I'm looking forward to listening to their Jansson episode. 1y
vivastory @LeahBergen I believe they will be speaking about the whole series, but specifically focusing on Dark is Rising which is book 2. If you have it you should give it a quick read before the end of the month. @moray_reads If I recall correctly you're a fan of Dark is Rising. Did you hear about the upcoming episode of Backlisted focusing on it? (edited) 1y
daena Really looking forward to reading and glad to be joining everyone! 1y
sisilia I loved this book. It‘s among the first NYRBs that I read.... that was when I only had less than 10 NYRB titles 😅 Now I have too many 1y
Moray_Reads @vivastory @leahbergen I didn't but I do love the book, I read it every year during festive season. I have read and enjoyed the while series but TDIR had a special place in my heart 1y
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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Thanks Scott for letting me kick-off the second round of the awesome #NYRBBookclub - with nine new members!
I hope we can start as strong as we did the first time (remember Cassandra 😉?). These are my nominations. Please vote below.

saresmoore Oh, gosh, this is a tough choice! I love Tove, but my vote will go for 1y
merelybookish I remember Cassandra! ❤️ And will cast my vote for 1y
LeahBergen Voting time! Yay!! I‘m going for the one that‘s sitting on my NYRB shelf right now ... 1y
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Billypar Tough choice - both Basti and Mangan Inheritance sound great. But I've never read Tove Jansson and I think it's time, so I'm going with that one. 1y
sisilia I vote for Basti 1y
batsy Can't ever say no to Jansson and it's been on my TBR for ever so long, so my vote is for 1y
Liz_M I'm voting for 1y
Suet624 I still get a quick thrill when I think of Cassandra. That book hit me like a ton of bricks. I loved it. 1y
Suet624 My vote is for 1y
quietjenn Looks like there‘s a definite front runner, but I‘ll vote for 1y
readordierachel Another vote for True Deceiver here 1y
sarahbarnes My vote is for True Deceiver - great picks! 1y
vivastory Excellent selections & how can I forget Cassandra! My vote is for True Deceiver 1y
catebutler Tove is a firm favourite of mine, so my vote is for 1y
mklong Another Jansson lover over here. I vote for 1y
youneverarrived How could anyone forget Cassandra! Still remember it vividly. I‘d love to read any of these but I‘ll go with 1y
Reviewsbylola I‘m having trouble deciding but I think I‘ll go with 1y
emilyhaldi Wow these all sound great!! And a bit dark.. which I love of course. Sorry I‘m late to the vote, but excited to read the Jansson!! 1y
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson

It‘s funny, even though it‘s 180 pages long, this book felt more like a short story to me than a novel. Something about the sparsely populated setting, the intimacy and closeness and insularity of the story, it felt like a short story. Gonna be thinking about this one for a while.

The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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BarbaraBB This one is fab ❤️ 3y
youneverarrived Beautiful ❄️ 3y
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