A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
My rating ✰5✰
Picture and quote from Goodreads
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.
I read this book for the first time in April 2018 and I loved it. I gave it 4 stars and proceeded to begin reading the rest of Fredrik Backman’s books. I have one left to read at this point.
I revisited this book for the January 2020 Booktube rereadathon. I wanted to reread this book to see how I related to Ove now, as a widow myself. And I loved it even more. I read it slowly this time annotating the book heavily with highlighter and sticky tabs and it was a joy to focus on the story and the characters so intensely.
I laughed at least as much as I cried and there was so much of both spread throughout these pages.
I can relate to Ove’s desire to be dead and to join his wife in more ways then I would ever like to admit. There are so many quotes in this book about his great love for his wife and his despair of trying to keep going without her and just not wanting too. He thought so many things I’ve thought in these last 8 months without my beloved Jason. Somehow he kept going and enjoyed the living he still had in him. I’m sure Sonja would have wanted that for him.
And I’m sure Jason would want that for me too. This book was inspiring and relatable for me in more ways than I ever expected this time around and I can certainly see this as a book I read over and over again as the years pass. I feel confident in saying that this is one of my all time favorite books.