The second book on my series of reading tales is Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove. The life-changing books are those that can make you laugh and cry in equal measure, and this one delivered on both fronts. It is a book that wrapped me in its warmth at the most crucial phase of my life. How this book found me at the right time is a different story altogether which I will share another day. For today let’s discuss the curmudgeonly 59-year old widower.
Ove is not exactly the charmer you would expect the main protagonist to be. But, as the story proceeds the crotchety protagonist grows on the reader. The grumpy old man has definite, perhaps rigid beliefs about right and wrong whether it’s the proper way to make coffee or the brand of car to drive.
But, the world disappoints him. To quote from the book, “A shed-load of men with elaborate beards, changing jobs and changing wives and changing their car makes. Just like that. Whenever they feel like it.”
Then he loses the only buffer between himself and the world, the ‘colour’ to his ‘black and white’ life, his wife Sonja. He decides to end his life and goes about it with much planning and precision. Yet, his attempts fail due to a series of comical yet mundane interruptions, which introduce him to the new neighbour Parvaneh, a cat and a few other interesting community members.
The story moves back and forth between Ove’s childhood and his present life and we see episodes in Ove’s life that have made him what he is. The main theme of the book revolves around how our bitter life can be lead back to a brighter, more connected one through simple human contact and affection. The book is all about human connection, how immigration is not all bad.
But above all this book is a love story. The love story of the unusual Ove and the wonderful Sonja. At places, it would remind you of the animation movie Up. The book gives serious relationship goals. It was Sonja who pulls the endearing Ove out of the despairs of life which again shatters when she leaves him for the better world. Ove thinks,
“She often said that ‘all roads lead to something you were always predestined to do.’ And for her, perhaps, it was something.
But for Ove, it was someone.”
“…if anyone had asked, he would have told them that he never lived before he met her. And not after either.”
‘You have to love me twice as much now,’ she said.
And then Ove lied to her for the second and last time: he said that he would. Even though he knew it wasn’t possible for him to love her any more than he already did.’
The story focuses on the inherent goodness, all the while also managing to be light and humorous. Read this book just to relate to a story about how one person’s goodness affects others and busk in one of best love stories.
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It seems like a great book, I will give it a read.
I just downloaded this on my Kindle. Your review has motivated me to start reading this one right away
Just a word of caution. Be patient through first few pages.
Ah, thanks 😀
What a fantastic review of this fantastic book. Ove’s so many aspects of life are touching. His bitter childhood, getting sweeter after the entry of Sonja in his life, then the human touch aspect. Very well crafted and analysed review.
Love stories are my favourite. The book sounds interesting and adding it to my reading list.
But do not expect a boy meet girl kind of a love story. The story speaks more about the companionship. It depicts how the understanding works in decades old relationships.
Nice review! I will check out this read.
This sounds a lovely book to read. I liked the the animated movie UP and the sweet love story of the couple. I will grab this one.
Thanks for reading
looks quite an interesting book
“A man Called Ove” is amongst the top in my list of favorite books. Like you said it makes you smile and cry and chuckle. Wonderful review of a wonderful book!
New addition to my reading list.
I’ve been meaning to read this book. Your wonderful review has motivated to go for it immediately.
ive read this book and oh I loved it so much. the emotions of Ove have been portrayed so well.
Glad to find fellow Ove lover
I loved this book when I read it. Ove comes across as a grumbler and a wet blanket, but there are so many little things about him to love too. This was a truly heartwarming read and your review is wonderful too.
Thanks for concurring my thought
I have enjoyed this book a lot. But I have read many reviews where people have mentioned that it’s an over rated book. So, I particulaly read your review even after having read ‘A Man Called Ove’ to check out your opinion.
Thanks for concurring my thought
Enjoyed reading your review. This is indeed a wonderful book. I hope to read it again, when I can muster up enough courage. Too much memories associated with it.
This seems a great book…would love to read. Will grab a copy soon
Thanks for stopping by
I have heard a lot about this book. Hope I get to read it soon. Putting it on my waiting list.
Awe those quotes in the end made heart eyes appear. I think I need to dust this one off my TBR soon.
This had been on my wish list ever since its release. Great review!
I have read this book and completely agree on the point that we laugh and cry with the character and Ove has flaws as each person has, this part makes the book more realistic.
Your review has encapsulated all the wonderful aspects of this book. I enjoyed reading it and was sorry when it endeed.
Very well written review, thanks
We all have grey shades to our character that keeps changing wit time and situations. I would like to pick up this book next.
Looks to be a good love story and very well written review…
I’ve heard such great reviews of this book, and looking forward to reading after your review. #MyFriendAlexa #TinasPicks