A Review: A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman

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This book has been on my reading pile for two summers. This Christmas I simply grabbed it off the pile and had no expectations of the book itself. I could not put the book down.

How hard can it be to kill oneself?  Ove asks himself that question every day as he longs to be reunited with his wife. A thorough, sensible, practical and conscientious person, he makes the necessary plans and arrangements to kill himself while leaving behind the least amount of mess and fuss as possible. This is Ove. If nothing else he is thorough and “un-fussy”.

Ove is lonely. He loved his wife and is lost without her.

 “He was a man of black and white. And she was color. All the color he had.”  (A Man Called Ove).

He had no life before he met his wife and he most certainly had no life with her gone. In loving her, her absence caused even greater  loneliness:

We fear it, yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone.” ( A Man Called Ove)

A thoughtful man, he simply planned out how he would take fate into his own hands so that he could once again be with the one person who brought colour into his black and white world. However, the best laid plans don’t always work out and with the timely intervention of a chaotic, group of “idiots”  meaning is brought back into Ove’s life- whether he wants it or not.

We know that you cannot judge a book by its cover and in this book we learn this lesson applies to people as well because in the end, despite Ove’s best intentions to prove otherwise,  it turns out that Ove’s heart is truly too big for his body.

This book spoke to me on so many levels and I will admit that I cried when reading this book.

And I think that there is a little bit of Ove in me.

So I reminded when reading about a character such as Ove, that maybe just maybe, when we least expect it, we can be the colour in someone else’s life.

This is a must read!

“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’.” (A Man Called Ove)

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