In this story of familial love and reunion, Moomin, who has lost everything (house gone, money gone, girlfriend gone), comes across his parents, while attempting to drown himself without success.
The narrative quickly reaches a captivating turn when intricate and disheveled creatures come out of a box Papa Moomin finds, floating ashore. The box does not contain the whisky Papa Moomin had hoped for, but is instead overflowing with bad language, in the form of tiny nasty critters. “Perhaps a sailor stopped swearing and tossed all his swear words overboard?”, suggests Papa Moomin.
Yet again, Jansson’s universe features its poetic dimension and gives flesh to metaphors. In such a world, nasty words have legs, and can be sent to an annoying and distant relative, aunt Jane.
In Moomin and Family Life, Papa Moomin is also facing a midlife crisis. Bored to death by the comfort of his middle-class life, he longs for adventures and fantasizes about living in a cave. His pursuit of adrenaline and wilderness leads him to abandon his new found son. Moomin will then have to confront his infuriated aunt alone (the one who received a box full of nasty words), at its own peril.