Friday, September 12, 2014

A Man Called Ove

Fredrik Backman

In this bestselling and delightfully quirky debut novel from Sweden, 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.

A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful and charming exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others(from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

Ove is a very simple man. Brought up mostly by his father who taught him to be responsible, work hard and follow the rules. Ove follows these principals into adulthood and struggles with the fact that not everyone else does. This is the story of how Ove and his neighboes, through a series of mishaps, finally come together to form an unlikely family.

This was delightful. If I wasn’t laughing, I was sniffling to hold back tears. Ove’s encounters with his neighbor are very funny. And while his personal story is sad, we really do need to know that piece of Ove so we can appreciate who he was at the end. This definately was a feel-good story and I am very glad I read it.
Thanks to Atria, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

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