Tite: A Man Called Ove
Author: Fredrik Backman
PubDate: July 15, 2014
Page count: 337
“We always think there’s enough time to do things with other people. Time to say things to them. And then something happens and then we stand there holding on to words like ‘if’.”
I’ve had the audiobook version of this book for over a year now but just managed to listen and get around it last week. And if I had known that this book is a gem, I would’ve read it the same day I got it! Because A Man Called Ove is the kind of book you will love no matter how grumpy and inflexible Ove was! It’ll make you contemplate life, time and the people around you. The kind of book that will make you smile and think and laugh and cry. Absolutely a thought-provoking and must read!
I actually didn’t expect to love Ove this much since, I think, this is the only book I’ve ever read with a protagonist older than 50 years old. I was expecting it to be light, a few giggles here and there, but there were times when I found my cheeks wet with tears, my heart aching. Honestly, it’s a sad book but with its great humor and compelling characters, Backman was able to make us laugh despite the heaviness of the story.
“She just smiled, said that she loved books more than anything, and started telling him excitedly what each of the ones in her lap was about. And Ove realised that he wanted to hear her talking about the things she loved for the rest of his life.”
One thing I love most about Ove is his love for his wife, Sonja. Ever since Sonja died, Ove believed that there’s no reason to continue his life anymore. Being grumpy and all, Ove is the kind of guy who thinks he’s always the wisest man in the room and he refuses to adapt to the modern world of technological advancement. But despite his cranky attitude, Sonja loved him. Sonja was his sun, his colors, and without the one person who truly understood him, Ove sees no point in living anymore. So he’s determined to follow her, he’s even prepared everything from cleaning the house to his letter with instructions, but everytime he tries, something comes up that postpones it. It all starts when a family moves in next door and accidentally flattens his mailbox. Ever since that family moved in Ove finds himself tangled with their business and one after the other, problems and issues happen. And of course, everyone needs Ove’s help to solve those problems.
Throughout the book we see Ove’s life before and after Sonja. Through flashbacks we see parts of his past starting with his kind father who taught him how to be honest, decent and fair. We also come to see Ove’s kindness in several occasions and those times really warmed my heart! But it’s also sad how some people only took his kindness for granted. And then he fell in love with Sonja.
This book is really heartwarming and sad and lovely and heartbreaking! I love Ove and though he’s rude to his neighbors, or to anyone for that matter, he can’t help but lend a hand everytime they need one. He shows them kindness despite acting all cranky. And Parvaneh is such a funny and lovely character! She’s the only one beside Sonja who can order Ove around and I liked it everytime Ove finds her irritating! Lol. And all the characters in this book will surely warm your heart and each one of them is special to Ove in a away.
This wonderful story of Ove really moved me. It’s funny, deep and will surely warm your heart. I enjoyed every second of it and I guess there’s really power in the ability of people to touch each other’s lives.
“Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it’s often one of the great motivations for the 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. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone.”