- Author: Fredrik Backman | Paperback : 337 pages | ISBN-13 : 978-1476738024
A man called Ove by Fredrick Backman is a story of a 59 year old man who just loves routine, rules, honesty and has just lost his wife.
Ove is the man who won’t tolerate you violating a road sign. He can’t understand how a fully grown man can’t open up a window without falling from the ladder. He can’t fathom how a father can’t teach his son how to fix a bike. To Ove, some things have to be done.
I met Ove last year when Christella recommended me his story. She’s the type of friend who knows which good books to read, where they serve good coffee, which shop sells the cheapest but stylish clothes… and she has a loud laughter. The type you want to join in. When she recommends me a book, I don’t second guess about it. It’s always good to meet her favorite characters. And Ove, has become my favorite granddad too.
This is a story of love and loss and the hope after. When Ove’s wife died, so did his life. He misses Sonja so much that sometimes he can’t bear living in his own body. Life has got to the point where Ove’s had enough. He is fed up. So fed up that he simply wants to end it all. He wants out of this world. But then you can’t put an end to your life when you have neighbors don’t know how to fix bikes, how to drive a car or which gift to offer to a 8 year old girl’s birthday.
What I learned in this book
We all need each other. Whether you’re an old person or a 8-years old, we need each other. Sometimes the next person just needs someone to understand what they are going through or simply to be there with them. But oftentimes we find ourselves judging the other, calling them names. There is a quote I once read that “our main purpose on this Earth is to help each. If you can’t help, don’t hurt.” If you see an old man who just sits in front of his house and observes then after goes back inside and locks himself, approach them and at least cook for them. It might be all they need. If you see a smoking teen, rather than bringing all your death statistics ask them what it is they’re trying to forget. Be there for them. Ove’s life could have ended earlier (in a sad way) if everyone in his neighborhood had thought that he is just an annoying old grumpy man.
I loved how this book is written. From the doodles that start each chapter to the note of hope that reconstructs throughout the book and the way people love each other. Ove’s story is a must read. To the lovers, the orphans, the bureaucrats, the depressed and you who don’t know how you’re doing, please find this book.
“She just smiled, said that she loved books more than anything, and started telling him excitedly what each of the ones in her lap was about. And Ove realised that he wanted to hear her talking about the things she loved for the rest of his life.
“Men are what they are because of what they do. Not what they say.
“And time is a curious thing. Most of us only live for the time that lies right ahead of us. A few days, weeks, years. One of the most painful moments in a person’s life probably comes with the insight that an age has been reached when there is more to look back on than ahead. And when time no longer lies ahead of one, other things have to be lived for. Memories, perhaps.
Things to expect in this book
- Pink flowers
- A Saab
- A cat
- White shirts