A Man Called Ove initially grabbed my attention because I had heard it dealt with mental illness and involved a cat. Boy, am I glad I picked this up. The story follows Ove, a widower who lives in a small residential area where his neighbors continually piss him off. It’s obvious that Ove suffers from OCD, and he’s also struggling with the overwhelming grief of losing his soulmate. All he wants to do is join her in the afterlife, but his damn neighbors and the ugly cat that hangs around his house always manage to ruin his plans.
This is a funny, heartwarming, and at times tear-jerking, story of true love, the meaning of life, and friendship. From Ove’s relationship with his beloved wife (told in flashbacks), to his reluctant attitude towards being a good person and helping his neighbors out, we learn more about a character that originally comes off as being a cold bastard. He’s not just a curmudgeonly old man; he’s someone who is trying to live life just like the rest of us.
I loved how genuinely funny this novel is, and how it respectfully broaches the topics of grief, suicide, and OCD. I adored the outrageous cast of characters, and how they each added an emotional layer to Ove’s life. A beautiful, sometimes heartbreaking, but always relatable story about the difficulties (and beauty) of love and life.
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