A Man Called Ove by Fedrick Backman
When we look at some people & how they behave, it is easy to make a perception about them. And it is difficult to change that, once it is formed solidly, mostly based on their present. Because, we humans are too dismissive of others' pasts and very possessive of our own. Aren't we?
Ove is an old grumpy man, who is a very calculative person and not-so-enthusiastic about life, in general. He loves all the hardware-y stuff though. He goes by the rules ( mostly his own). He is strict and follows certain routines. All his neighbors say that he is a bitter man. And he seems so. But, behind this unpleasant old man, there is a story of sadness, loss and love.
This book unfolds different chapter’s of Ove’s life. We move forth and back through his present life and the past incidents from his life, with his parents, wife, neighbors, etc. The shifts are flawless and each chapter comes with an apt title. While we are feeling emotional about Ove's past, Ove's present takes interesting and emotional turns because of his neighbors. The foreign family in Ove's neighborhood changes Ove's life in many ways.
I wanted to read this book for a very long time now, and I finally read this. I liked it. The characters were fun and lively. The story took interesting turns, and it felt impeccable. But it did not impact me as much as I was expecting it to. The narration felt very dry in some parts, and a few chapters in this book felt very boring or unnecessary. There are many emotional scenes in this book, and I would have loved to cry ( this sounds weird, but yeah) but the writing style of Backman did not create that atmosphere for me. Or, it could be the translation too, I don’t know.
I must admit this one thing here though: Ove and his wife, Sonja are one of the bookish couples I will love forever. I loved loved loved Sonja's character. Because of this one character, the story felt embedded with many layers. For this one thing, to understand what love really is, I wholeheartedly recommend this book. Also, for some laughs and light entertainment.
If you read this review carefully, you may assume that I have formed a very love-hate relationship. Yes, that's true.