Book Review of “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman

Fredrik Backman – Swedish author of the bestselling novel, “A Man Called Ove” – published his masterpiece back in 2012. Backman captures the life of a seemingly grumpy widower, Ove, whose daily routine is quickly disrupted by unforeseen changes.

Backman does a terrific job engaging the reader with Ove, a man with solitary principles, as he deals with the realization that life isn’t the same since his wife’s passing. Backman’s third-person narrative allows the reader to see Ove’ s heartwarming personality, sensitive side and holds true to the saying, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”

Throughout the novel, I found myself smiling at Backman’s delightfully humorous entwining of Ove and his neighbors: a growing family of four who just moved in, familiar residents from over the years and a scraggly cat who has taken to Ove’s yard. Backman’s ability to weave together the characters’ lives feels natural. The setting of the novel takes place in Sweden, Backman’s native country, and gives the reader a descriptive setting while presenting the mood of the book in an accurate manner.

Backman’s novel is an insightful reflection on loss and love. His book fills the reader with laughter and provokes the emotions of happiness, compassion and an important understanding of accepting oneself.

In 2016, “A Man Called Ove” was adapted into a Swedish feature film. The movie can be viewed on Amazon Prime Video.

I highly recommend Backman’s novel to anyone looking for a feel-good, surprisingly warm book. It’s the perfect time-passer for the quarantine blues.

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