We finally finished reading Fredrik Backman's A Man Called Ove. I have to disclose that with less than one third of the book remaining unread I grew tired of the meandering story, but I stuck with it and the last part of the book makes the entire story relevant. I cried all the way through the epilogue of the book; it was beautiful. If you start this book, then make sure you stick with it...this book (like Ove's himself) is best understood as a whole.
This book is about moving forward after great loss. It's about not giving up on life. It's about understanding the complexities of people and of situations, and this book is about finding the best (because it does in fact exist) in every individual.
This is one of my favorite quotes of the book. It's an important mantra: never, ever give up!
"Now, you listen to me," says Ove calmly while he carefully closes the door. "You've given birth to two children and quite soon you'll be squeezing out a third. You've come here from a land far away and most likely you fled war and persecution and all sorts of other nonsense. You'v learned a new language and got yourself an education and you're holding together a family of obvious incompetents. And I'll be damned if I've seen you afraid of a single bloody thing in this world before now."
Ove rivets his eyes into her. Parvaneh is still agape. Ove points imperiously at the pedals under her feet.
"I'm not asking for brain surgery. I'm asking you to drive a car. It's got an accelerator, a brake, and a clutch. Some of the greatest twits in world history have sorted out how it works. And you will as well."
And the he utters seven words, which Parvaneh will always remember as the loveliest compliment he'll ever give her.
"Because you are not a complete twit."