Take out your hankies, because this one is a doozy!
“We always think there's enough time to do things with other people. Time to say things to them. And then something happens and then we stand there holding on to words like 'if'.”
Some books make me tear up, some books made me cry, and some books make me wail like a baby. The man called Ove is definitely in that last category. I had trouble seeing the last couple of pages of this book I was crying so hard. did this book break my heart? Absolutely! But in the best possible way.
“Ove had never been asked how he lived before he met her. But if anyone had asked him, he would have answered that he didn’t.”
But don't be fooled, Ove is not the most likable character ever. If anything he is very much on the opposite spectrum. He is set in his ways, he is extremely grumpy and unsociable, and other people to him are either idiots or nuisance, but mostly just idiots.
Now, I love characters like that. Love them! Quirky, weird, unsociable - you name it, I'm here for it. But even for me Ove was hard to handle at times. He wanted to be right even if he was wrong, and sometimes I just wanted to smack him. And no, there wasn't a magical transformation - Ove didn't become a social butterfly, or a lovable old man - he stayed himself, truly and unapologetically himself, just better. And I absolutely loved that.
“He was a man of black and white. And she was color. All the color he had.”
I don't remember how I stumbled upon this book on Goodreads, but I'm so happy that I did, because now I want to read more books by Fredrik Backman, even more so because he is a foreign author. And one of my 2018 resolutions is to read more from non-american authors. The translation was pretty good for it didn't feel like a translated book, it was smooth and flowy, albeit a bit dry, but I think that is the Backman's style.
The thing that surprised me the most, and probably produced the most of the tears, was how at the end I realized that Parvaneh needed him as much as he needed her. This book was just so beautiful on so many levels. Okay, just thinking about it makes me tear up, damn you Backman and your emotional writing!
I absolutely recommend The man called Ove - the book is full of emotions and life lessons. It dives deep into the nature of loss and grief and how we, as humans try to deal with it, each in out own ways.
“Ove feels an instinctive skepticism towards all people taller than six feet; the blood can’t quite make it all the way up to the brain.”
Freelance BETA reader.