Title: A Man Called Ove
My rating: 4/5
A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.
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.
The stereotypical grumpy old man is what we first see in Ove until a young family intervenes in the most timely of manners. There is an empathetic feel to when we learn how Ove has progressed to who he is when the book starts – as he had enough of being tricked and walked over and also loss in many ways. I’ve never seen the movie Up!, and I’m basing the symmetry of both gentlemen off the trailer for the movie! The jumps between past and present are enough of a tease to intrigue further reading as Ove has numerous suicide attempts. Learning of the characters assembled in the neighborhood was delightful as each story intertwined and strengthened relationships as the narrative continued. Of course noticing the generational differences was entertaining as Ove sticks to his traditional ways and mr. fix-it approaches as opposed to modern technology. A wonderful introduction to Frederik Backman and a continued desire to read his other works – as 2 currently sit on my bookshelf awaiting to be devoured!
I’m sure it won’t be too hard to convince my book club to watch the movie as it seemed as though I was the last one to read it!