A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

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Ove has lost the one person in his life who understood him (his wife) as well as the purpose for him to get up each morning (his job) and he’s now trying to take matters into his own hands.  All he wants is to be reunited with his only love, his wife, Sonja.  Unfortunately, each attempt he makes on his own life gets interrupted by his prying, needy neighbors.  Even the cat seems to need him.  Is everybody helpless?  In spite of his grumpy-old-man exterior, Ove endears himself to everyone around him who recognize that he is in fact the kindest of hearts and the truest of souls.

Because of the tone of the story, which is written through the prism of Ove’s cynical and rigid perspective, I found it, at first, hard to get engaged in this story.  But gradually, there grew moments of subtle tenderness that were so utterly sweet that I was reeled in.  By the end, I was just mush.  Teary mush, actually.

The writing in this story is really very beautiful.  I so admire a writer who can create such colorful and deeply genuine characters as these and who can create such subtly charming moments between them.  Even when Ove is ranting at another – and he does so at almost every  other character – you feel the affection that is exuding between them.  You cannot help either smiling or tearing up through much of the story.

I highly recommend this book.  Just stick with it – it’s worth it!

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