A Man Called Ove
Synopsis: What causes a person to want to take their own life? What persuades them to keep fighting? A Man Called Ove tells the story of an elderly man who, more than anything, wants to see his ...
- Plot Progression4.5
- Emotional Trauma5.0
- Re-Readability Measure4.0
What causes a person to want to take their own life? What persuades them to keep fighting? A Man Called Ove tells the story of an elderly man who, more than anything, wants to see his wife again. From the start of Ove’s life, all he ever did was work. Everything had a system, and numbers dictated his life. That, of course, was before Parvaneh and her family moved in across the street. When his eccentric neighbors don’t know the concept of personal space, how does Ove’s view on life change?
I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting much when I picked up a copy of this book off the shelf. After all, I usually read books about post-apocalyptic universes, magical communities, and extra-terrestrial beings. A book about an old man and his journey through seniority didn’t seem exciting. However, something about the simplicity and charming quality to the first chapter persuaded me to continue on with Ove’s tale. I am so glad I did.
I adore Ove. So much. When the story began, I made a lot of assumptions about Ove. He is that irritable elderly man that screams “Get off my lawn!” at kids every weekend. He is the man who files complaints about customer service or asks for the manager at a grocery store. I didn’t expect the underlying trauma and heartwarming anecdotes that I read about later.
His character was flawed, for sure, but the way he gradually lets the people around him into his life actually made me cry. Ove never was a sentimental person, that’s for sure, but his natural instinct to take care of and protect his loved ones overshadows his crabbiness. I relate to him on a level, though. I’m not too keen on people, either, Ove. Stay strong.
The writing to this novel is so beautiful. The theme of accepting the natural course of life is portrayed with such effortlessness… Like, look at this line: “Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it’s often one of the great motivations for the living. Some of us, in time, become so conscious of it that we live harder, more obstinately, with more fury… We fear it, yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone.” OH MY GOD. STUNNING. EMOTIONAL. I CAN’T.
The author’s approach to emotional, character-building scenes was both heart-wrenching and unbelievably realistic. The characters are all so well-developed! I sobbed my way through this book. Cried for hours. I bawled, and when I say bawled, I mean it: Wails, frustrated shouts, choked laughter… My eyes were puffy the next day.
The ending made my entire life worth living. Just a warning, it is incredibly heart-rending, but it’s so right. The ending is fitting, and it does the characters justice. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Honestly, I can’t think of something to criticize, and that says a lot, as I am the most pessimistic, nit-picky person I know. It balanced the emotionally-distressing scenes with the odd, humorous ones. I felt so many emotions. SO MANY.
Read this book immediately. Feel your heart be ripped out of your chest repeatedly just like I did. Suffer the pain that I burdened through, because somehow, it’s all worth it in the end.