Book Feature: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
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.
This is the story of how a broken man saved himself by opening up his heart again, and how sometimes, strangers can make the best of families.
Ove’s struggles deeply resonated with me which made reading the book enlightening and frustrating at the same time. But, challenging the reader’s ‘truths’ is what a good book does best. I think A Man Called Ove should be required reading for adults.
Favorite Book Quotes:
“Sorrow and loss are constant, but if we all had to go through our whole lives carrying them the whole time, we wouldn’t be able to stand it. The sadness would paralyze us. So in the end we just pack it into bags and find somewhere to leave it.”
“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’.”
“He was a man of black and white. And she was color. All the color he had.”
“One of the most painful moments in a person’s life probably comes with the insight that an age has been reached when there is more to look back on than ahead.”
“It is difficult to admit that one is wrong. Particularly when one has been wrong for a very long time.”
Books similar to A Man Called Ove:
- The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
- Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
- The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Other works of the Author:
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