Book 23: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Living a simple and yet rewarding life, Ove spends his days concocting a plan to join his recently deceased wife in heaven. His neighbours on the other hand, have other ideas for ovehim and before he is aware, he is mending fences,reversing trailers and all sorts. There are not many books out there you can call a ‘feel good’ read but this certainly is.

Some books are meant to make you cry, while others make you laugh until tears of joy run down your face. This month’s offering did both. The basic and yet intriguing manner Backman tells his avid audience has you hooked from the first chapter. A poignant and utterly compelling story about a man who is so distraught about his wife’s death, he plans his own so that he can be with her once again. I loved the annoying and yet wholesome neighbours who, little did he know, came to his rescue. A wonderful uplifting story of a grumpy misunderstood man and the people who love him regardless. 5/5

I must admit that I did not relish the prospect of reading a book with a Victor Meldrew character as the hero. How wrong I was.
Ove was an absolute delight and I couldn’t put the book down. I laughed and cried my way through it.
The dialogue relating to his beloved wife was particularly poignant and the translator deserves an honourable mention.
Two examples – “You’re dancing on the inside Ove when no one’s watching and I’ll always love you for that, whether you like it or not ” and (on her death) “If anyone had asked, he would have told them that he never lived before he met her and not after either”.
A totally absorbing read worthy of 5/5.

“A Man Called Ove” – I absolutely adored even though when reading the first page I said to myself that it would not be my cup of tea.  How wrong I was.  I would definitely award this 5/5!  I just loved it so much.

Ove was a man who was different but who accepted who he was and the hands that life dealt him without any bitterness or rancour. Throughout he maintained his integrity and did not rise to any insults that were thrown at him or the sniggers behind his back.
He followed in his father’s footsteps and worked on the railways where he was a model employee until he was falsely accused of stealing . Even his changed position did not put him off his stride although one glimpsed his sorrow at being wronged.
We rejoiced in his happy marriage and were saddened beyond words at the cruel fate of his unborn child and the injustice he suffered as the driver went unpunished and his wife committed to a wheelchair for life.
The way he dealt went about making practical adjustments for her was most touching.
The matter of fact way he tried to kill himself following her death and his involvement with the new family on the block was a interesting and amusing twist. The cat he loathed but who ended up living with him .the couple who were causing him such irritation and aggravation ,the neighbours ,children and others that he found himself unwittingly involved with was wonderful. His death brought tears to my eyes.
Ove was a man whom we would probably regard as on the Spectrum but who lived a life which to him was normal who bore his grief and suffering with great stoicism.
It was a funny thought provoking uplifting and rewarding read! I will give it 5/5 !”


About Great Big Jar

Life is like a box of chocolates - well, it would be but I ate them all! I am a writer of children's stories and rhymes. I am currently testing the waters with two new stories for 8+ and 11+ readers - a new exciting genre to sink my teeth into. Drop by and say hello
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