|Moominvalley in November|
|Preceded by||Moominpappa at Sea|
Moominvalley in November is the eighth and final book in the Moomin series by Finnish author Tove Jansson. It is the only novel where the Moomin family, the main characters in the series are absent. It has been suggested that the more somber tone of the book is a direct result of the death of Jansson's mother, Signe Hammarsten-Jansson during the year it was written, and the book may be viewed as a "textbook on letting go, being a mature orphan, existing spiritually alone." It was first published in 1970.
The characters in the story are Snufkin, Mymble, a Fillyjonk, Toft, one Hemulen and Grandpa Grumble. Snufkin is preoccupied with a musical quest. The Fillyjonk has developed an obsession with cleanliness and believes that her home has become overrun with unseen creepy crawlies. Toft is a mysterious small child who has lived under a tarpaulin in Hemulen's boat for as long as he can remember. The Hemule himself feels it is time for a break from his normal routine. Mymble is sarcastic and long-haired. Grandpa Grumble is happily senile and, as his name would suggest, often grumpy.
Set in the final days of autumn to the approach of winter, the novels characters are inspired to visit the Moomin family after recalling their previous fond times there. One by one, the group all go to the Moominhouse seeking the Moomin family. The Moomins are gone and, instead, they find one another. There, Toft finds an old microbiology textbook, and misinterpreting it as a story, creates a monster in his imagination, which appears to develop a life of its own.
Grandpa Grumble encounters the The Ancestor, an ancient Moomin living in the stove, whose presence is felt or imagined at times. The tone of the book is darker and more melancholic than the other Moomin books, and it reads at times more like an adult novel than a children's book.