A Man Called Ove

As I’m reading A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman I am falling in love with this book and its characters. In one chapter I’m smiling as the happy moments of Ove’s life are shared with me, and in the next chapter I’m almost in tears as I see the pain and sadness that also equally fill this Ove’s life. As the book is written in the format where the chapters flip from the past to the present, I see how these experiences create the character of Ove. The story of A Man Called Ove isn’t a suspenseful thriller or a fantasy novel filled with magic. It’s simply the story of an ordinary man’s life. Yet this simple story is filled with the joy and pain of characters that are so tangible that I want to reach out and hug them. And isn’t that why we read stories, because we want to make connections with the characters? In fact my favorite part of Harry Potter wasn’t the world of magic (though that was pretty cool right?!) no, my favorite part was the characters. I read each book sympathizing with Hermione as she strove to follow the rules and excel in school, and with Neville as he suffered under the  cruel gaze of Snape and coped with his own insecurities. I laughed with Fred and George, wishing their names appeared on the page more, and I cried when the duo was finally separated. I felt my own heart break as I imagined what it would be like to lose my own twin. My point is that I read stories for the characters and I think that’s true for most people. In A Man Called Ove, one chapter is Ove going to the grocery store, and while the chapter isn’t the most exciting, I still love it as it reveals who Ove is. (I would even read a story about Fred and George going to the grocery store, but like who wouldn’t. I’m just imagining flying magic fruit.) Through the simple chapters and through my laughing and connecting with these characters, they become my own characters. Instead of being figures in a book, they became these characters that I could count on and I reread books to revisit these characters. While I am not yet finished with A Man Called Ove, I know that I will be revisiting Ove and the other characters in the book.
By Maria White

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