Published August 27,2012
The lowdown from Goodreads
A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.
It seems that I’ve been hearing about this book forever. I now know why – It’s wonderful. This is one of those books you buy 5 copies & gift them to all your friends because you don’t want them to miss out on meeting, Ove.
Fredrik lets the reader meet Ove at various stages of his life. We get to be there when he meets his wife on a long train ride. We are there when he picks up the pieces after his father dies. We experience his frustration & anger as he does things “the right way” & it’s not enough.
Ove is cranky, tired, a hard worker & a real character. Ove doesn’t teach someone to do things, he shows them. When his neighbor’s daughter draws a picture of Ove, he is the only person she draws in color. Ove begrudgingly takes care of cat & even places socks on the feline when he is frostbitten. Ove misses his wife & is heartbroken without her. Perhaps my favorite part in the book is when the author describes sorrow. The idea that sorrow should bring people together, but when people don’t share it & when they aren’t vulnerable with one another, then sorrow is more likely to drive people apart. There are few people in our lives that let us in on ‘their story’. Knowing someone’s story can help explain his/her behavior, it helps one understand what drives someone. It helps you understand the young man hiding in a cantankerous older gentleman down the street. I’m grateful to know & understand Ove.