It wasn’t supposed to be like this. You work and pay off the mortgage and pay taxes and do what you should. You marry. For better or for worse until death do us part, wasn’t that what they agreed? Ove remembers quite clearly that it was. And she wasn’t supposed to be the first one to die. Wasn’t it bloody well understood that it was his death they were talking about? Well, wasn’t it?
And so begins Ove’s story. Left alone after more than 40 years of marriage, Ove has one final task to fulfill – commit suicide. Being that Ove has always been a man of routine and order he has everything in place. From making sure the proper drill bit has been used and a sufficient hook installed to hold his body weight to putting on his best suit to having his funeral instructions carefully tucked in said suit’s pocket to covering the floors in order to assure the realtor won’t have to deal with cleaning up dirty footprints from the first responders, Ove is ready to say goodbye to this world. Until some bloody idiot who can’t even back up a trailer not only flattens his mailbox but then proceeds to scrape the entire side of his house thus interrupting his plans. The same goes for when he tries the old tube in the tailpipe method and even when he decides to dispose of his earthly body in a not-so-tidy way. Ove just can’t be let alone to die in peace, it seems. But over time even though . . . .
He was a man of black and white. And she was color. All the color he had.
And . . . .
If anyone had asked, he would have told them that he never lived before he met her. And not after either.
Due to the pestering of the new vivacious family next door and one Annoyance Cat, things begin to shift . . . .
She points at a figure in the middle of the drawing. Everything else on the paper is drawn in black, but the figure in the middle is a veritable explosion of color. A riot of yellow and red and blue and green and orange and purpose. “You’re the funniest thing she knows. That’s why she always draws you in color.”
Proving that . . . .
Love is a strange thing. It takes you by surprise.
So there you have it. There’s a good chance if you pick this book up you won’t like it all that much. That’s what happened to my mother-in-law (who gets all of the credit for me reading this one since it was her book club selection that I attempted - and failed, natch – to participate in hundreds of miles away). My explanation of her not enjoying this as much as me? She is the Sonja - not only for her husband but for our entire family. Maybe – just maybe – you need to be a bit of an Ove to fully appreciate him. And if you are, get ready for a real one-two punch right in the feels . . . .
I finished reading this at lunch yesterday and terrified the entire office when they walked by my desk . . . .
Yep. I cried. That doesn’t happen often. And when people asked WTF was wrong with me I couldn’t even articulate . . . .
So like I said, I can’t tell you for certain you’ll love Ove as much as I did. You may hate it and that’s totally fine. But for me? This is going down as one of my favorite books of all time and I already ordered a hardcover in order to make sure it has a permanent spot on my bookshelves. Maybe you just have to be the recipient of the attention of an “Annoyance Cat” of you own to fully appreciate the story . . . . .
(^^^^^That’s “Sewer Cat” – named such because he likes to hang out in the storm sewer like the nasty freak he is. He’s about eleven thousand years old, mean as a snake, second runner-up (behind Shelby’s White Trash) in the worst cat in the universe contest who sprays his disgusting pee/semen/whateveritis on my bushes to mark the front of my house as his territory and pulls the decorative landscaping away from my porch so he can sleep under it when he feels the need. He’s the epitome of a nuisance animal . . . but when he comes and knocks on the door as seen in the photo above I haul my fat butt outside pronto and give him the cat food/tuna/lunchmeat he demands. I also apologize profusely to him for my cat being a racist and not accepting the fact that black is not the only acceptable color for kittehs.)