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Book Club review: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

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by Anne van Oorschot

TIC members braved the road construction around Tilburg north and found their way to book club…whew!! Inside, all was cozy with fresh tea and cookies and a nice book to discuss, The Man Called Ove, by . Ove, the main character of the book, seemed like the grumpiest man in the world. He is very unhappy with his life and tries different methods to kill himself, but he is unsuccessful in his attempts each time. “No great loss” the reader may initially think, but as the story progresses, more information about Ove’s life is shared: the loss of his parents at a young age, the lack of friends, his hard working-no nonsense nature, how he teaches himself one trade after another, the beautiful and effervescent woman he falls in love with and marries – only to have her crippled by a bus drivers careless actions and later lose her to illness. One realizes that all of Ove’s grumpiness hides a profound loneliness and a sense of responsibility for many of the unhandy people around him. Ove has a heart of gold, but swears that idea is absolute rubbish.

We all enjoyed the book tremendously! I think we will all look at the grumpy people we encounter in life a bit differently after meeting Ove. And, we will certainly NEVER take the choice of what brand of new car to get lightly. If it were up to Ove, it would, of course, be a Saab…”and that’s all I have to say about that!”


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