Today I’m going to write a review of a book I recently read and loved, which was A Man Called Ove. Let’s begin!
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.
Ove is a grumpy old man. He hates his new neighbours, dislikes any car other than the Saab that he drives and can’t stand the fact that people can’t read clear signs. (How hard is it to keep a bicycle inside the bicycle shed when there is a sign indicating you to do so?) At first, Ove seems standoffish and rude. He doesn’t seem like the type of person you can say a friendly hi to, or have a pleasant conversation with.
However, do not be fooled by Ove’s tough exterior. As the story progresses, you realise the reasons behind his behaviour. The recent passing of his wife, being orphaned at a young age, all of this has taken a toll on the man. But despite the many hardships that he has had to deal with in life, Ove has a heart of gold. This may seem hard to believe, but Ove has lent a helping hand to those in need many times in his lifetime. He even saves the life of a man who falls on the train track by accident.
A Man Called Ove was Fredrick Backman’s debut novel and it was an excellent choice for a debut. The book is funny and emotional and focuses mainly on Ove’s life. It alternates between his past and the present and shows the readers why Ove behaves the way that he does.
I found the book extremely heartwarming and found myself smiling many times throughout the book. I loved all the other characters, especially Parvenah, Ove’s new pregnant neighbour. Parvenah was witty and sarcastic and her and Ove’s banter were a delight to read.
I can’t pinpoint any flaws in the book and loved it immensely.
Have you read A Man Called Ove, or any other book by Fredrick Backman? Let me know in the comments below!