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Book Review: Fredrik Backman's 'A Man Called Ove'

 

Ove (pronounced Oover) lives his life with structure going about his everyday existence without bothering anyone and that’s the way he prefers it. However, his world is turned upside down when he returns to work after the weekend to the news that he won’t be needed in his job anymore. His now ex-employers subtly suggest that Ove should perhaps concentrate on enjoying his time at home as he embarks upon the final years of his life. The problem being that Ove is only 59 years old and never had any plans to retire. To make matters worse, Ove thrives on routine and now has no other choice than to decide what he wants to do with the rest of his years. What Ove needs is a mission, but before he can complete that mission he is surrounded by people who all want to get involved in his business and Ove isn’t a people type of person, in fact he’s anything but.

Ove is a warm, laugh out loud read. It is beautifully written and Ove’s whole life as it begins to unravel is heart breaking. The theme of friendship runs strongly throughout the story but it is the attitude of society regarding the older generation which really resonates with you as you journey with Ove as he recalls his harsh life. The grumpy old man label Ove seems to be continuously tarnished with is portrayed as ignorance at its best and the story at the heart of the book has real substance and is an eye-opener which leaves you questioning just how much we may all be guilty of judging others without knowing anything of the life they have lead. Ove is a wonderful character who everyone will warm to instantly in this book; in fact, I do believe that there is a bit of Ove in all of us…

Written by Clair Chaytors

 

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