This is both a dessert and main course type of book!
Ove pronounced /oova/, is a man who has spent his life developing and following rules. It’s these rules that have helped Ove survive. However, it’s also what has kept him from actually enjoying life.
Now, in his late fifties, Ove is in constant war with how things are supposed to be with how things are. The apex of these rules forms around a planned community he lives in and is threatened daily by residents who ignore street signs. Adding to the danger is the fact that his anchor, his wife Sonja, has recently died. And then the second disaster strikes, new neighbors!
Pregnant Parvaneh and her husband Patrick have the nerve to move next door with two young girls. They don’t seem to know the rules and worse don’t appear to want to learn them. Patrick is an irredeemable idiot, and Parvaneh isn’t intimidated by Ove’s gruffness. On top of which, they are in constant need of Ove’s help and should know better than to ask. Then, Ove is forced to take care of a wretched cat, because who else can and do it right? Finally, adding to this insult, the constant requirement of helping is taking Ove further and further away from his goal, to join his deceased wife.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is sentimental and moving. It’s ironic as well as funny. It’s relatable because we all know an Ove if not, look in the mirror. It gives a new perspective on community and where one fits in it. And shows us that you’re never too old or too stuck in your ways to start over. I really enjoyed this book. It’s the type of book that one must own because it will need to be read over and over again. It’s around 336 pages of pure literary genius and an absolute delight.