‘A Man Called Ove’ is not typically a book that I would pick up, but it was what had been chosen for the book club’s reading that month. And surprisingly, I loved it. Fredrik Backman, in this novel, explores themes of love, loss, family, friendships, and if you’re looking for a book to tug at your heartstrings, then this is it. A Man Called Ove follows the story of a grumpy yet loveable man, who is a cranky 59-year-old Swedish man. Ove has lost his wife and now his job and is presented with challenges that someone would probably rather not face. Ove seems older than his years, having adopted the role of a bitter old man who observes people outside of his window like they are criminals about to rob him – with great unpleasantness. He has staunch principles, rigorous routines and doesn’t seem to like change.
However, throughout the book, you delve deeper into the person behind all the grumblings. In November a chatty young couple (Ove’s worst nightmare) moves in next door with their young daughters, they are not met with a warm welcome. Ove doesn’t enjoy the company – let alone the company of small children who seem content in doing the exact opposite of what Ove wants. The accidental flattening of Ove’s mailbox by the young woman inspires an unexpected friendship. The rest of the book shows how much one person can impact your life, and how the kindness of one family stopped Ove from attempting suicide again as he had tried at the beginning of the book.
This is one of those books that had me furious at the people rating it less than three stars on Goodreads. I know everyone will have a different opinion, but this book reminded me so much of my grandparents who the older they get, the more they resemble Ove that I couldn’t love it. I find that Ove is the exact reason why I can’t wait to be old, to be able to grumble about something as silly as cats without being judged. I mean all of this within reason of course, but there have to some perks of getting older right?
Let me know if you’ve read this book as well, and whether or not you enjoyed it.
Until next time,