A Man Called Ove by Swedish author Fredrik Backman, is a brilliantly written novel which reads smoothly and nothing seems to have been lost in the translation by Henning Koch.
Backman tells the story of Ove, a man with a strict routine which if broken makes him somewhat unhappy. He is funny and emotive, with just the right amount of anger and bitterness, everything Ove goes through you go through with him.
The novel starts in the present day with the arrival of a new family of neighbours. It then jumps back and forth from the present to the past, which slowly fills in Ove’s back story including details about his childhood, his marriage to Sonja and many other events that have shaped Ove’s life and made him the man his is now.
This bitter, sweet novel will take you through all the emotions, and just when you are on the brink of tears, the author brings you back with something to make you giggle (often one of Ove’s amusing eccentricities). With brilliant descriptions and well thought out metaphors the writing truly brings the setting and the characters to life. Each character is so unique and life like that it feels like you are truly part of Ove’s neighbourhood, and this makes the emotional journey of the novel even more real.