A six-year old girl spends the summers with her grandmother on a small island in the gulf of Finland. The girl's father is there, too, but he's mainly working and a background character. The relationship is not a kissy-huggy one. The grandmother is quite caustic at times and Sophie seems to shout a lot, but I imagine she shouts in the way that children shout: as a form of communication. The beauty of the book is the language and the pace of the plot. Each chapter describes an event during one of the summers: visit from an older friend, a new house built on a nearby island, a ferocious storm that hits the islands in the gulf, etc. The language is beautiful and I could pull out half a dozen quotes out of the book, but this is the one that stayed with me the longest: Sometimes people never saw things clearly until it was too late and they no longer had the strength to start again. Or else they forgot their idea along the way and didn't even realise that they had forgotten. This is an amazing book that will stay with me for a long time.