Welcome to a new (hopefully regular) feature on the site. The plan is to add a new book review once a month. This is a short review, but length will vary based on the book.
My friend Corey recommended “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman a few months ago. I usually read books in a sitting or two, but I took my time with this one. I’d read no more than two chapters in a sitting because I could just tell this book was special. Each chapter taught me something I wanted to savor before diving into the next passage.
I read many books, but rarely does one move me the way “A Man Called Ove” did. I don’t want to give away much of the story line, but it chronicles the mostly ordinary life of a Swedish man named Ove. The chapters are mini-stories within his life. The tone of the writing is matter-of-fact, almost nonchalant, but each vignette adds to the fabric of the story until you’re utterly connected to Ove.
Ove is grumpy. He’s set in his ways. He sticks to routine. He’s amusing and he doesn’t know it. He knows he’s broken. He’s the grouch with a hidden heart of gold. Throughout the story, your heart breaks for Ove and your heart is happy for Ove. The book moved me to tears because we’re all Ove in one way or another. We all at some point think we have life figured out…until it surprises us.
To put it simply: it is a story about a man who thinks he lost love, but then love captures him again in entirely unexpected ways.
Take a journey with Ove…you’ll be glad you did.