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Island Summers Memories of a Norwegian Childhood by Tilly Culme-Seymour

Island Summers Memories of a Norwegian Childhood

Biography / Autobiography   eBook Favourites   

Sue Baker's view...

In the writings of Arthur Ransome it is the islands that are so seductive, sailing away, being apart from normal life and having both land and water to explore, in Island Summers there is that same delight in islands of which Norway has so many and one in particular, Småølholmene that the author’s grandmother bought in 1947. From grandmother to daughter to granddaughter the women of Tilly’s family have always loved their island, a summer home and retreat although for Tilly there is also one magical winter on the island to remember. The feel of the island, the weather, the sea become almost real as you read, the snatches of Norwegian history, culture and food intriguing, it’s light and magical, an account that lingers long in the memory.

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Who is Sue Baker


Island Summers Memories of a Norwegian Childhood by Tilly Culme-Seymour

'My grandmother bought the island. The year was 1947 and she was thirty-three, a couple of years older than I am now. She was the visionary sort of person who can make something magical out of very little.' From the moment that Tilly's grandmother, Mor-mor, set eyes on the rocky outline of Smaholmene, it captured her imagination. Legend has it that she bought the island in exchange for a mink coat. Every summer from then on, she and her young family would escape from their life in the English countryside to its rugged outcrops and sparkling waters. Mor-mor loved Smaholmene fiercely. Lean and chic, she smoked voraciously and would scandalise the local islanders by roaming around naked, flanked by her standard black poodle, Cheri. Her children spent their days running wild, thieving for gull eggs, rowing on the lagoon, and foraging for island raspberries, which Mor-mor would sandwich together with whipped cream to make into a sukkerkake. Thirty-five years later, Tilly spent her first summer on Smaholmene. Her Mamma kept up the rituals that she herself had learnt from Mor-mor, and Tilly discovered in the island a living link between her family's past and its present. Glittering and bittersweet, this is the captivating story of the women who made Smaholmene their own: a land of childhood adventures, of magical summers, and of Tilly's first romance.


Utterly captivating ... Reminiscent at times of Roald Dahl's Boy. At moments she touches genius Donald Sturrock Perfectly evokes the calm and content that comes with a modest, self-sufficient way of life . Charming - Daily Telegraph

A paean to simple pleasures - Harper's Bazaar

About the Author

Tilly Culme-Seymour studied English at Trinity College, Dublin. She is now based in London, where she writes on food and travel. This is her first book.

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Book Info

Publication date

17th July 2014


Tilly Culme-Seymour

More books by Tilly Culme-Seymour
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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


304 pages


Biography / Autobiography
eBook Favourites

Nostalgia: general
Places & peoples: general & pictorial works
Cookery / food & drink etc



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