WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.
The book A Man Called Ove follows the story of a very grouchy widower who just wants to be reunited with his wife in the afterlife…until his annoying neighbors change his mind.
I was introduced to it as a book that made the lender’s husband cry, and I took this as a challenge: can I make it through it all without shedding a tear? Short answer: no. I made it to the last two pages before bursting into tears. The ending was so sweet and so kind that I could not help but cry as Ove’s acts of valiance and hidden selflessness throughout his life brought hundreds to his funeral.
This book resonated with me as someone with a relative who has trouble communicating his love directly. For example, instead of coming right out with affection, Ove shows it in other ways: fixing the sink, helping you move, building a dresser. Little things like this are kind acts of love, as Ove reveals; he may seem to dislike it, but really, his heart is as genuine as can be, as evidenced in his treatment of a neighbor with Alzheimer’s, a pregnant foreigner, and a “bent” youth. All through the novel, I found myself surprised by his kindness, and as the book reveals more and more about him, the pieces connect to show a sweet, kind-hearted man turned sour by the world.
Overall, this book is adorable, heartwarming and comforting. I mark it as PLEASE READ during a long flight, bubble bath, or any other situation where you might need some cheering up, a good cry, or both.