A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

At first sight, Ove is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet, a curmudgeon with staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People think him bitter, and he thinks himself surrounded by idiots. Ove’s well-ordered, solitary world gets a shake-up one November morning with the appearance of new neighbors, a chatty young couple and their two boisterous daughters, who announce their arrival by accidentally flattening Ove’s mailbox with their U-Haul. What follows is a heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unlikely friendships, and a community’s unexpected reassessment of the one person they thought they had all figured out. A word-of-mouth bestseller that has caused a sensation across Europe, Fredrik Backman’s irresistible novel about the angry old man next door is an uplifting exploration of the unreliability of first impressions and a gentle reminder that life is sweeter when it is shared with other people. (Published: 2012/Pages: 337/Genre: Novel-Fiction)

In this brilliant novel, you meet the town grump, an older gentleman named Ove. Ove loves rules, especially the ones within his community, he is up every morning making sure that things are just as they should be. Grieving the loss of his wife, Ove finds himself keeping busy as the self-deemed community patrol, that is until a new family moves in. Ove is forced out of his comfort zone with the arrival of an outspoken, invasive woman and her loud, out-of-the-box family. Soon Ove finds his world completely turned upside-down as his neighbors force themselves into his life leading those around him to learn that there is so much more to Ove than the grump next door.

This was such a touching tale proving that there is more to a person than meets the eye. Ove was such a real character, he is the grumpy man down the street, the old grump at the store, he is your family member. Ove’s story is more than that of just a grump, he is a grieve stricken man trying to survive after a lifetime of fight and loss. Ove’s story unfolds in the presentation of past and present, giving a glimpse into what turned Ove into the grouch he has become. This was a splendid tale with an ending that broke my heart. I laughed, I cried, but most importantly I loved Ove. This was such a wondrous read; I had a difficult time parting with it. I could not help but wonder what I was going to learn next about this lovable man. Backman proved to be a true talent and master writer in this heartfelt, emotional tale showcasing the true nature of love and family. One of the best novels I have read all year, packed with so much emotion. I will never look at the grumpy old man in any place the same again, a beautiful friendly reminder that there is so much that meets the eye with those we meet every day.

If you are looking for a feel-good, heartfelt, genuine read that will surely tug at your heartstrings A Man Called Ove is the book for you. This novel will pull you in and leave you in tears with a beautiful ending, proving family is not always the people you are related to but the people who are there for you no matter what. I will be reading more from Backman in the future, with Ove finding his way to a shelf-worthy spot on my bookcase.

Rating: 5 out of 5.


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