When you begin this novel, you meet a crusty old Swede named Ove who lives like a hermit and never seems to have a kind word to say to anyone. He may even be a highly functioning person with autism spectrum disorder. We meet him as he’s trying to buy an iPad, though he clearly has no knowledge of anything related to computers and is likely the most frustrating and nasty person the salespeople have ever met.
There begins the slow unraveling of Ove’s life. Each chapter is a beautifully written gem — revealing some small part of Ove’s life, both past and present. Like his new Iranian neighbors who force themselves into his solitude. Or, the old couple across the street, who used to be Ove’s close friends and are are fighting the husband’s move to a nursing facility. Or, the single mother and her overweight son who live down the street. All of these people come to play significant roles in Ove’s story, against his better judgement.
This book is one of those rare treats you won’t want to end. Skillfully written, humorous, and emotionally rich — you will laugh often and cry when it ends. Enjoy!
You may also be interested in my reviews of other Backman books: