This month’s book review is for A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.
About the Book
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.
I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by this novel! At first glance, I was a little skeptical to read a book about a grumpy old man who doesn’t have a reason to live after his lovely wife Sonja passes away. There is so much going on in the world, but this book showed me the possibilities for connection in the smallest interactions of every day life.
Ove changed me in the best way over the course of this novel. When you read the book, you’ll find that Ove’s character does not change, not one, tiny bit. Instead, when you learn of his backstory and understand why he is the way he is, you change, and find yourself falling in love with this grumpy old man. It’s a rather wonderful read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
What Others Had to Say
Kirkus Reviews: “In the contest of Most Winning Combination, it would be hard to beat grumpy Ove and his hidden, generous heart.”
HuffPost: “A Man Called Ove is charming, delightful, and the best book I read last year. You will totally understand my devotion to these characters from the very first pages; just make sure you have a box of tissues on hand for all those tears.”
The Independent: “Backman can tickle the funny bone and tug on the heart strings when he needs to, and is a clever enough storyteller to not overindulge in either.”
The San Diego Union Tribune: “You will laugh, you will cry, as his heartbreaking story unfolds through the diverse cast of characters that enter his life, all uninvited… You will never look at the grumpy people who come into your life in quite the same way. A very memorable read.”