A good book comes like a gentle breeze and leaves behind a waft of fresh and sweet fragrance.
This book - A Man called Ove does just that.
I have never rated any book in my head out of 5 or 10 stars, blame it on my inability to translate an overall impression into numbers. But here is a book, that gets a neat 5 on 5 without an iota of doubt.
1. Relatability - this is what I adored the most while reading this book. I could relate to what was written in it, there's a little of Ove in my dad and little more of him in my husband. The RQ or the relatability quotient made me grin, smile sheepishly and secretly nod in approval, quite often.
2. Perfectly paced - never, not once do you feel the author could have saved a few pages or elaborated little more to enable better understanding.
3. The Story Unfolds in Layers - chapters in this book move from the present to few weeks back in time, and to many years back in time but never is one lost in time and space. Also, each chapter is a short story in itself, catering well to my love for short story format.
4. Detailing of the Protagonist - our understanding of Ove grows through the book, gradually. The author doesn't play it defensive on why is Ove the way he is, never. He evokes different emotions in us towards Ove, never once justifying all he does or demanding pity.
5. Beautifully translated - most of us fumble for the right words that connect our thoughts, something does get lost in the process of translation, at times. But this book translated into English from Swedish, leaves one wondering if the author and translator are twins, conjoint in their head and heart.
6. Only a few characters - for a person who has still not gotten over post partum forgetfulness, having just a few characters in the book makes the job of reading and remembering easier.
Reading happens pretty erratically, after finishing all household chores, that are sometimes lined up in an unending queue. My reading time is from 12 to 1 am, where I sink into the sofa, heave a sigh of relief that the day has gone by well and get into the reading mode.