How do you write a book review about a book that you loved so much when you finished you couldn’t start a new book for a few days because you weren’t ready to leave it and the characters? What is the balance between giving you enough information to decide if you want to read it but also not telling you anything so that you can experience the book as I did – not knowing anything and being completely sucked in by everything?
A Man Called Ove is about a grumpy old man who has strong beliefs, strict routines and thinks he is surrounded by idiots. Ove “…never understood the need to go around stewing on why things turned out the way they did. You are what you are and you do what you do, and that was good enough for Ove.” One day a new family moves into Ove’s neighborhood and changes everything.
There were so many things I loved about this book. First, I loved the characters. I loved the main character Ove and I loved so many of the other characters. They all felt like people I know and I could even see myself in some of the characters. This book has all the feelings. I laughed out loud multiple times and then a couple of pages later I would be crying.
A Man Called Ove helps me to understand that there is a reason people act the way they do. In life our perceptions of someone is based on what we know of them, what we see, observe, what they let us see. In great books we get to really see a person/character – see them and then understand why they make the choices they make. All people have reasons for the choices they make. A Man Called Ove helps me to be more compassionate and less judgmental of the people around me. The story was also such a great reminder to me that our lives have much more meaning and purpose when we share it with other people. A great reminder for me on those days (or weeks) when I think it would be great to be a hermit.
I also really loved the writing. Fredrik Backman writes in a way that pulls you into the story but also has you feeling like you are right there in the story. And he does all that with just beautiful words. For example “As if he sort of crumpled with a deep sigh and never really breathed properly again.” Can’t you just imagine the kind of sigh that was?!
A Man Called Ove is the best book I read in 2017. What is the best book you read in 2017?