Friday, August 4, 2017

Backman, Frederik (A Man Called Ove)

I'd heard from various folks that this book was a laugh-out-loud kind of ride, and I was very definitely not feeling that from the get-go. It's really pretty darn sad! And gives us excellent insight into what happens to people when they lose a close loved one (the specific aspects of grief and longing).

Sure, how Ove treats other humans and animals can be seen as amusing on the surface. But the level of anger and frustration made it seem very real to me, and I didn't want to laugh at Ove's pain. He may be a fictional character, but it should be obvious to all who've read this that there are plenty of real, live humans going through this and not knowing how to act or survive at all. Instead of being an amusing tale, it felt like a lesson (although it didn't read like one, thankfully) in how we can recognize the stages of grief in others, and help them through that process.

I did love the ending, but I think it was because it was all so neatly tied up in a bow. That's something I don't usually appreciate, but for this novel, it was necessary.

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