A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

A Man Called Ove is the New York Times Bestseller by Fredrik Backman, author of Britt-Marie Was Here. 

The first things the reader learns is that Ove is fifty-nine years old and a devoted SAAB owner. When the novel opens, he is buying an iPad and treating the salesman with great belligerence.

The second chapter brings the reader three weeks earlier when there is brief mention of a cat that becomes Ove’s constant companion later on.

Ove is a man of habit and he always starts his day with an inspection of the neighborhood. He notes repeatedly that “Life was never supposed to be like this.”

The reader soon learns of the death of his wife, which has left Ove suicidal.

But luckily for Ove his plans are about to be thwarted time and time again by the arrival of some new characters that come to slowly change his misanthropic ways.

The story comes full circle, told in a series of flashbacks where he reminisces about the good times and trials he shared with his wife and then is brought back into the present by one of his new friends.

The iPad turns out to be a birthday gift for the one of the neighbor’s daughters.

Ove dies peacefully at home in the company of Ernest the cat.

“More than three hundred people come to the funeral,” proving that anyone can fill the world with optimism (page 336).


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