Book Review: A Man Called Ove + This Is How It Always Is

July 17, 2017


1. A Man Called Ove.


If You’re Looking For: Fiction, humor, light

If You Like: Good stories, Grumpy Old Men, Up

My Review: Sweet, thoughtful, well written, and funny. Not oh that was funny funny. Laugh out loud while you’re reading funny. Have you ever seen the movie Up? It’s kind of like taking him (the grumpy old man) and hearing his story all laid out into a charming and well worth it novel. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time. 5/5 stars.

Their Review: “This charming debut novel by Backman should find a ready audience with English-language readers… hysterically funny… wry descriptions, excellent pacing… In the contest of Most Winning Combination, it would be hard to beat grumpy Ove and his hidden, generous heart.” –Kirkus Reviews

Quoted: Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it’s often one of the greatest 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.


2.  This Is How It Always Is.

If You’re Looking For: Fiction, page turner, family & marriage

If You Like: Contemporary fiction

My Review: I finished this beautiful novel today. It’s about family, marriage, and the changes and learning curves in parenthood. I prefer reading books without any spoilers or overviews (I almost never read the flap), and this book especially reads better without introduction. Trust me and try it. The only critiques I read on Goodreads (after the fact) is that it isn’t darker. So if you’re looking for something dark and deep–you might try one of Gillian Flynn’s novels (I recently read Dark Places after swearing I’d never read another after Sharp Objects). This book is lighter, but full of enough depth and plot to keep you turning the page. A warm (but often heart wrenchingly sad) story on a topic most of us know nothing about. But most of all–it’s about family.

Their Review: “Deeply satisfying…An intimate family story…Day-to-day parenting dilemmas are where Frankel shines.” –The New York Times Book Review

From the author’s note: The novelist in me is inspired by how much raising children is like writing books: You don’t know where they’re going until they get there. You may think you do, but you’re probably wrong. Corralling and forcing them against their will to go where you first imagined they would isn’t going to work for anyone involved. Never mind you’re the one writing and raising them, they are headed in their own direction, independent of you. And scary though that is, it’s also how it should be. […] For my child, for all our children, I want more options, more paths through the woods, wider ranges of normal, and unconditional love. Who doesn’t want that? I know this book will be controversial, but honestly? I keep forgetting why.


Favorite Books

All Book Reviews

4 thoughts on “Book Review: A Man Called Ove + This Is How It Always Is

  1. Jennifer

    Thanks for suggestions! I’ll look for “This is How it Always Is.” Overall, I loved “Ove.” There were some passages that took my breath away, others made me laugh, and some made me cry. I always love discussing how each person interprets the end!


Say hello.