A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman
Ove is a cantankerous, stubborn, inflexible and grouchy 59 year old man. He thinks people, in general, are idiots who are incapable of managing everyday tasks and fixing their own problems. Almost instantly, I was reminded of Clint Eastwood’s character in Grand Torino.
“‘Holy Christ. A lower-arm amputee with cataracts could have reversed this trailer more accurately than you,’ Ove mutters as he gets into the car.”
When we first meet Ove, he’s muddling through daily life the only way he knows how. He’s going through his routines and habits just to pass the days…all the while, terribly missing his late wife, the only person who Ove has ever loved.
“People said Ove saw the world in black and white. But she was color. All the color he had.”
Ove makes sure he knows everyone who lives in his small little residential area and he makes it his job to keep order in their community. When a young, new family moves in one day…Ove finds that his life and his plans for it are completely turned upside down. Parvaneh, a small Iranian woman, her husband whom Ove only acknowledges as “The Lanky One,” and their two small children slowly but surely weave their way into Ove’s life…much to his immediate chagrin.
A Man Called Ove is such a beautifully written story that caught me totally unaware. I assumed this would be a fun, quick and quirky story that would hopefully give me a chuckle or two. It was all of those things…but it was so much more! The message and theme of this book is all about life and the importance of living our lives to the fullest…all surrounded with the idea that the relationships we forge throughout our lives is what makes this wild ride all worth it. The characters in this story are so well layered and interesting… the storyline kept me hooked and interested almost immediately…and the writing style, while simple, was perfect. It was the type of story, that after I finished, I needed to just sit and let it sink in for a while. I found myself, with tears streaming down my face, feeling sad that it was over while at the same time feeling grateful for getting to read it and be a part of the characters lives. A Man Called Ove has definitely earned it’s place as one of “My Favorites”.
“Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it’s often one of the greatest motivations for living. Some of us, in time, become so conscious of it that we live harder, more obstinately, with more fury. Some need its constant presence to even be aware of its antithesis. Others become so preoccupied with it that they go into the waiting room long before it has announced its arrival. We fear it, yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves.”
My Rating: 5/5 Stars