I nominated the novel as my Best Novel of 2015 in my recent 2015 Reading Year Review.
Ove is the grumpiest man on the planet. He knows life only as either Black or White. He has no idea what emotions are, or how to express them. So long as he has a practical task to do, Ove is fine. * He has fixed ideas on everything, particularly on car buying and ownership.
When his wife Sonja dies, he is completely adrift. Of course he can’t express his grief, other than in bursts of anger. New neighbours – a useless husband (clumsy and inept), two little girls, and pregnant Parvaneh who is Iranian, move into his street, impinge on his life, and change it. And not to forget the stray black cat, who also moves in. Into his house, nogal!
The unfolding events are very funny, related in a deadpan manner. The ending made me weep. But prior to this, I’d enjoyed a feast of laughs. Strongly recommended.
* Footnote: I have to add that I know squads of South African men who were cast from the same Ove mould.
*nogal – Afrikaans – an expression of disbelief.