Fredrik Backman

                                                                           Dublin Unitarian Book Club’s
choice for August 2020.

Who is Ove? At first we meet a cranky curmudgeonly man, suspicious of everyone, addicted to routine, a man of high principles who is intolerant of those who break the rules like parking in the wrong place and so he patrols the neighbourhood for ‘offenders’. And yet, as his story unfolds we warm to this grump and come to understand his character. This is a warm, funny and charming story of deep love and loss, of fortitude and resilience. Ove opens up very reluctantly to the people around him through a series of different events, there are new neighbours, stray cats, old rivalries of the residents’ association, and the ever white-shirted authorities to contend with. Despite his sadness and wish to be left alone to contemplate suicide, Ove can’t ignore helping others when they come knocking , although he doesn’t see it as helping, more like a duty because who else is going to show these nuisances how to drive, to fix bicycles, to bleed radiators? All these callers not only accept Ove for who he is, but become his friend because of who he is. Fredrik Backman shows us that even though we may feel isolated in these modern times we are not alone in this world.

Alison Claffey
Dublin Unitarian Church