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A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman (published in 2012–how am I just hearing about this?!?) was the last book I finished in the month of April. I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews on this one so I decided to borrow it from a friend. I wanted to give this one a try because there are others by Frederik Backman that I’ve been interested in (Beartown and My Grandmother asked me to tell you she’s sorry), so I figured this would be a good introduction into his writing style.
From the outside looking in, Ove seems like a man who is miserable and hates everyone. His neighbors don’t know what type of person Ove is. They want to like him but his gruff attitude comes off as unapproachable. But everyone is made into the person they are by their experiences and while you learn the backstory of Ove, his neighbors begin to see him in a different light. They see a completely different man, a man that no one really saw in Ove except for his wife.
This book is summed up perfectly by People: “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll feel sumpathy for the curmudgeons in your life.”
A Man Called Ove is probably my favorite contemporary novel I’ve ever read. Backman’s writing style is intriguing, and his descriptions are spot on– you can visualize all of these characters, even down to the cat. One page you will be laughing and in another you will be crying (my boyfriend can vouch for the tears streaming down my face more than once). The book shows you a different way to look at a person, that what’s on the outside might not necessarily be what’s on the inside. But what I love the most about this story is that it’s life, for better or worse, it’s a story about a man, his experiences and how he’s the way he is. It will touch every one, whether it touches you because you’ve experienced the same thing Ove has or because you know someone like Ove, you’ll finish feeling like you see people in a new light.
The storyline and the ending was a little predictable, about a quarter of the way through I had an idea of what was going to happen but it was also an idea that I hoped would happen. An ending that shows that sometimes you just need to keep moving forward and in the end everything will work out exactly how it’s planned to.
I would recommend this book to anyone and I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads.