A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
A Thing Called Love. The title of the book could have come from this saying of and that would be so apropos…
With a heart that was too big for this world.
What it means to be a man. How to build with your own hands. How to fight for what’s right. How to treat others. How to be loyal. How to love. How to be responsible. How to contribute to society. To be decent.
How Ove learns to be the incredible man that he is because of his father. His father who is also uncommunicative, and yet a man of principle. A man who does not concern himself with the business of others or talking about them. A man who teaches his son that a man is what he is because of what he does, not what he says.
How Ove is as a husband. That unfaltering love and loyalty and devotion. You want to believe that your husband is cut from the same cloth that Ove is. That his love for you is as intense and immovable. I know that these characters are fictitious, but you don’t want them to be. And you don’t want their characteristics to be either. You want to be like his wife, Sonja. You want to be near her. You want to be as good and as optimistic and as grateful for what life does offer her instead of focused on what is taken from her.
How Ove is as a person. How he rebels against the world’s celebration of mediocrity. How he feels as though one should be able to do their taxes, change their tires, lay some tile, install a light switch themselves, instead of boasting that they’d paid someone else to do it for them.
This book makes you want to be a better person yourself. Man or woman. You feel as though there is so much to give of yourself to others by the time you’ve read the last sentence.
Oh, and the tragedy of the death of someone you love. The missing of someone. The little things. At the most random of times. Smiles. Holding their hand. The loneliness. The lack of interest in life. The draining of all color in your life.
And love…most of all this book is about love. Being loyal in love. Appreciating love as its newness wears off. Loving for faults, as well as despite them.
A rare treat of a book. At the end of every chapter I told my husband that the book was killing me. It pulled at my heartstrings in a way no book has in a long time. It was tragic and comedic and lovely.
It reminded me of watching a good foreign flick. The ones where you laugh, you cry, you love, you hate and you leave satiated and richer for the experience.