A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

At first, I thought this is just a typical ‘grumpy old man’ story, and I was wondering why that Conde Nast article on Ambassador’s book suggestions before we go to their countries included this book. Upon reading the synopsis provided in the said article (it says that it’s never too late to start over again no matter which stage in life you are), it caught my interest right away and started reading the book. I love books with themes that revolve around starting over and being successful at it.

This book has brought me to tears in the last few chapters. Chapter by chapter, I’m starting to get attached to the characters and I’m starting to have a clearer picture of what the daily life in Sweden looks like. I observed some details that are quite common in other countries, such as the ‘white shirt’ guys, bureaucracy, and the sense of community. Ove’s attitude is completely understandable because of all the things he went through in life, and I’m deeply touched with how Parvaneh and other neighbors did not give up on Ove despite his grumpy behavior. I was touched with Ove’s relationship with Parvaneh’s kids and the birthday scene at the end really made me cry a lot.

I would love to read this again whenever I want to escape or relax. It gave me lots of comfort during the pandemic, and I highly recommend it to others. Now I want to read ALL of Fredrik Backman’s novels, and I loved to visit Sweden even more!

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