Ove’s story is heartbreaking, and it is very funny. It is filled with diverse characters, including the cat. Ove is Swedish and the story takes place in Sweden. It is a book you will not want to put down and one that will make you laugh out loud.
Both growing up as a child, and then later as an adult, Ove is described as a curmudgeon. He has strict principles, fixed routines and the image of a crusty old man who is ill-tempered, but this image is only true at first glance.
With a closer look you find that he has a heart of gold. Much of what is good in Ove was brought out by his wife, Sonji, who comes into his life and balances his pessimism with her optimism and warmth. She is really the opposite of Ove in most every way, but she is as dedicated to Ove as he is to her.
Driving a Saab is a litmus test for Ove and if you do drive one your more than ok. If you drive a Volvo, BMW or foreign car, it can be a reason for not speaking.
Ove’s wife dies, and it is heartbreaking. It takes a lot of time but it is a woman who again turns him around, for a second time. Parvaneh moves, with her husband and children, next door. His relationship with their children is very touching.
The book is an exploration of how one life impacts so many others and is well worth reading.
About the Author
Fredrik Backman grew up in Sweden. He has been writing for Helsingborgs Dagblad and Moore Magazine in Sweden. His first book was "A Man Called Ove" and was published in 2012. It was adapted into a film which came out in December 2015.