A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman Was Such a Beautiful Read

I always find it awesome when an ordinary-looking book has the ability to catch its reader off guard like the way A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman did to me last weekend. If you think the title sounds familiar, it's either because this book is famous or because it was adapted to a movie a few years ago (curious, I watched the trailer on Youtube yesterday, which resulted in teary eyes and runny nose. It was decided then that I wouldn't be watching it anytime soon).

In a small neighborhood, a 59-year-old man called Ove lives alone. Ove doesn't talk much on a daily basis and gets grumpy easily, though Patrick, Parvaneh, and their two daughters don't seem to realize this. When the four of them move into the house across Ove's, much to his dismay, they can't seem to leave him alone even for a little while.

A Man Called Ove tells the story of Ove in both his present and old times, included in it Sonja, the love of his life, whom he met in a train station growing up. Despite having a different view of life, Ove has always been very hardworking and honest to the point where it’s admirable if a little insane.

Before I start my review, let me quote you a passage I found:

"Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it's often one of the great motivations for living. Some of us, in time, become so conscious of it that we live harder, more obstinately, with more fury. Some need its constant presence to even be aware of its antithesis. Others become so preoccupied with it that they go into the waiting room long before it has announced its arrival. We fear it, yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone."

Even if beautiful, I admittedly found it rather hard to resonate with this book in the beginning. Understanding Ove’s character was quite a challenge, and needless to say, it started out hard the attempt to clear my confusion about his behavior. As a result of finding the beginning a bit of a struggle, I decided to set my expectation lower than I had originally planned.

But everything fell into place gradually. As chapters went by, I began to understand Ove a little better and so a growing fondness for him was eventually established. He was still one of a kind; his past stories fascinated me more and more throughout the pages to comeI suppose that was mainly the reason as to why this book had caught me off guard. I didn't expect to be emotionally invested in Ove's character as much as I didn't think I would find something special in what seemed to be a very ordinary story. A Man Called Ove was the kind of book that could clearly strike a chord with its representation of life in a simple but touching way.

Meanwhile, Parvaneh along with the two adorable daughters of hers were absolutely my favorites. Their impact in Ove's present life was very notable so alas, I couldn't be more grateful for their roles. The times when Ove got all grumpy because of them (and the cat) were hilarious also. Despite being very ill-natured, it’s quite obvious that Ove cared more than he himself liked to show, so all along, I couldn't dismiss the thought that maybe he was a tsundere.

Ah, how glad I am that I chose to keep going. The last few chapters were the kind of ending that warmed my heart while at the same wrenching it too. Even though I had sort of seen it coming, it still felt like a surprise. All in all, A Man Called Ove was such a precious book that I would definitely recommend it to everyone who is in need of something honest and warm.

Having a neighbor like Ove might be hard, but I believe it would be an honor too.

Actual rating: 5★