You think you’re going to read something ordinary, maybe morose. That idea quickly vanishes once you fall deep underwater into the beautiful ocean that is the experience of living in this story. The characters, the plot devices, the man called Ove: so sweet, so funny, so terribly sad. This is why we read, or why we all would be better people: to create some empathy and understanding toward people who, upon first impression, are not impressive.

There is nothing I can write that is in any way worthy of what this book did to me. It plain knocked my views of grouchy old relatives straight out of my head. My relatives are nothing like Ove, but we all know an Ove. What they are inside, what battles they are fighting, what they do for others, what they don’t say, we just assume the worst and don’t dig in to find something greater than we could ever assume.

If anything makes you take the time to look deeper into someone’s story for which you previously ignored, this is it. We all need to be a little more Sonja.

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