Everyone has to die some day and this book just focuses on the one who had to stand the death of his beloved. Ove is portrayed as a bitter and grumpy old man. The author starts his narration with Ove and continues to introduce more characters without names but from the point of view of Ove. As Ove learns each one’s name, so do we. As he reminisces his past, we learn more names of the characters in his black and white life.
This is mainly a love story that is partly delightful and partly heart wrenching. To soothe the heart aches, the author keeps shuttling between the past and the present. Though we get stricken at some points, we slowly heal (along with Ove) through the happenings in the present. So many light-hearted moments around a man, whom I suspect has ASD, is a pleasure to read. But it was also heart wrenching when he was left to himself time and again. It was like watching, helplessly, as a child tries to shape itself with the right principles. On the whole the author has managed to sculpt the character of Ove with such details that it is hard to hate him even when he is grumpy.
For a life so short, the kindness keeps pouring out of their lives. This makes it inspirational and uplifting to follow in their footsteps. After all, Ove made Lemonades when life threw lemons at him.
I was getting more and more attached with the character towards the end. During the end though we know the inevitable does happen, the author does not disappoint us. The story comes a full circle and we know that we can close the book with a feeling of content.
My favorite quote from the book:
“He was a man of black and white.
And she was color. All the color he had.”
“Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it’s often one of the great motivations for living. Some of us, in time, become so conscious of it that we live harder, more obstinately, with more fury. Some need its constant presence to even be aware of its antithesis. Others become so preoccupied with it that they go into the waiting room long before it has announced its arrival. We fear it, yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone."