By Hannah Reynolds
Coming from New York Times bestselling author Fredrik Backman is another book one can’t put down, “A Man Called Ove.”
Published in 2012, this novel tells the life story of a man who at first glance appears to be just another grumpy, bitter old man. As you dive into his life story, his morals, and the neighbors that revive his will to be happy, we realize that our first impressions can leave us greatly mistaken.
This theme is clearly shown on Page 114 of the novel: “A time like that comes for every man when he chooses what sort of man he wants to be. And if you don’t know the story, you don’t know the man.”
After the passing of his wife, who Ove says to have given his life color, he is heartbroken. This leads him to suicidal plans that are continually interrupted by his neighbors. He trapped himself in this reality of loneliness since her passing, but what he had once thought of as an annoyance of his neighbors gave him back his color. This heavy topic is written by Backman in a comedic yet endearing manner making the storytelling that much more compelling.
Themes of change, the importance of community, the beauty of life, and the strength of love are riddled throughout the chapters of this 337-page novel. This novel is beautifully written and keeps you turning pages as you lose track of time. You feel completely immersed in the struggle and successes as we can all find a common ground in the issues and within the main characters.
With an overall 4.35 star rating on GoodReads and added to the New York Times best-selling list, this novel will take you on a ride of emotions. You’ll experience true life realizations, and you’ll be left wishing there was more.
Ove knows how people see him as the narrator candidly expresses in chapter 12, page 109, “he knew it very well that some people thought he was nothing but a grumpy old sod without any faith in people. But, to put it bluntly, that was because people had never given him reason to see it another way.”
Will you give Ove a chance and hear his story? If so, this novel is available online through this link as a PDF or a downloadable file for free as well as available through the app Libby easily downloaded to your smartphone.
It is also available for purchase at Barnes and Noble for $12.99.