Friday, January 20, 2017

A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove

By Fredrik Backman


A Book Review by Ginger Dawn Harman


Wow! I just finished A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman and I don’t even know where to begin with my praise!  I was so excited when my library called to let me know that this book that I had on hold had come in. However, I was even more pleased that the audio CD was also available for me to listen too. Swedish author and blogger Fredrik Backman has created a cross generational, cultural masterpiece! With a simple message of love and a bit of humor, this book is a fine example of transformation, acceptance, and it all begins with a grumpy old man who wants to buy a computer. 

This heartwarming tale captured my heart even before Ove rescues a stray cat. As for Ove, who doesn’t know or have an old man that lives near them that is in charge of the neighborhood rules (especially the residential driving area), offer unsolicited advice, and can be rather difficult.  Underneath it all is a sad story of a man who has lost his wife and doesn’t have a friend. Yet, this book gives the reader a story about how everyone has an opportunity to change. Sometimes, change even finds you! Not only does Ove change but so does every character and reader alike. With a bit of kindness you just never know how you can effect or make a difference in someone’s life.

The characters are very well developed and the pace of this novel is steady. I did not want to stop reading. From the escapades of Parvaneh, a very pregnant Iranian woman, her husband, and two little girls Ove’s regulated life changes in an instant as he backs up a U-haul and they next thing you know, the neighbors show up at Ove’s front door. They just will not go away as he would like. Little by little more people move into Ove’s life.  Just as he plans to comment suicide for the fourth time, Ove becomes a hero and must fight off a newspaper journalist. The constant action will keep you hooked and you will experience a range of emotions from joy to anger to sadness all within a few chapters. One cannot help to fall in love with Ove!

My favorite quote was, To love someone is like moving into a house," Sonja used to say. "At first you fall in love in everything new, you wonder every morning that this is one's own, as if they are afraid that someone will suddenly come tumbling through the door and say that there has been a serious mistake and that it simply was not meant to would live so fine. But as the years go by, the facade worn, the wood cracks here and there, and you start to love this house not so much for all the ways it is perfect in that for all the ways it is not. You become familiar with all its nooks and crannies. How to avoid that the key gets stuck in the lock if it is cold outside. Which floorboards have some give when you step on them, and exactly how to open the doors for them not to creak. That's it, all the little secrets that make it your home. "

I also liked, “Love is a strange thing. It takes you by surprise.”

Author Fredrik Backman

This book did take me by surprise and I give it my highest recommendation! I also encourage readers to listen to the audio recorded version if it is available. George Newborn’s voice really captures the tone of this novel. So purchase, check out from your library, and read A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.  

After all like Ove says, “A time comes for every man, when he chooses what sort of man he wants to be. And if you don't know the story, you don't know the man.”


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