Tuesday, December 01, 2015
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman ~ Book Review
This book came highly recommended by the lady at Indigo/Chapters when my daughter and I were on a book buying splurge there this spring. It was originally written in Swedish but has now been translated into, I think I read somewhere, 25 languages. It's popularity has basically been word of mouth. Seeing one of the goals on my 2015 reading challenge was to read a book originally written in another language, this fit the bill. I'm so glad I got it. Though when I first started reading it I did wonder. Ove is introduced as such an unlikeable, angry curmudgeon of a character...and I already had people like that in my life...did I really want to read a story of one? But there was something so appealing about this story as layer by layer Ove's history is revealed and his exuberant new neighbor looks beyond the grumpy to find the heart of the man. As Ove tries to bring his plans for his life to fruition something always happens to interrupt him and he faces choices and putting off those plans. It turned into a wonderful story of looking beyond first impressions, of reaching out to others, of lending a hand and of life just being better when others are allowed in. I laughed and cried my way through this whole book, sometimes at the same time, which an author has never been able to accomplish with me before. The writing is quirky, different and charming starting with the chapter titles and carries on throughout the story and I don't think anything was lost in the translation at all. Ove's story really made me look at my own life and what areas I am so rigid and closed off in (I tend to be a natural rule follower so this really woke me up to that) and how I need to open up to others more and enjoy those God places in front of me.
I gave this book a 10/10 for it's heart-warming look at sharing life with others and exploring how we all have something to offer and for the sheer enjoyment of the read.
Reading Challenge 2015 goals met: A book originally written in another language, a book a friend recommended (ok the lady at the store is not my friend but it was still a recommendation), a book set in a different country, a book set somewhere I've always wanted to visit (Sweden), a funny book, a book that made me cry, a book by an author I've never read before,