Friday, June 23, 2017

"A Man Called Ove"

When I checked this digital library book out on my Kindle, I didn't realize the story was set in Sweden or I wouldn't have bothered.  I know I'm narrow-minded, but I like to read a book in which the characters use the same sort of currency I'm familiar with, and visit towns and areas I know.

After the first couple of chapters I was hooked.  Poor Ove couldn't kill himself no matter how he tried.  

This is one of those books that will make you laugh, cry, and experience every emotion in between.  Its my favorite of all the novels I've read in the past three years or so.  I don't think anyone would be offended by it, unless you don't like a minor character in the book being gay (I'm pretty sure homosexuality isn't contagious, especially just from reading about it), or if perhaps the word "bloody" seems like too strong a curse word.  Read the book, and learn that even the grumpiest curmudgeon can have a heart of gold.  And it all started with a mangy cat.

I bring up the book to tell you a story about Buttons, the cat.  He came here as a kitten with his brother Grady, who later disappeared (after we spent $70 getting him fixed).  Grady was playful and fearless and everybody's favorite.  We don't know if a fox got him or somebody took him because he was so amazing, but he is gone, and we were left with Buttons.

Buttons loves to park himself under the hummingbird feeder
When the kittens first arrived, they decided Cliff's shop was a great place to hang out.  I was a little concerned about the situation because Cliff has never been fond of cats, unless it's one that lives in the barn catches lots of mice.  But the little girl we babysit loved the kittens, so he endured the situation, even when I had to put a litter box in the shop after one of the cats pooped in the Oil-dry stuff under a tractor.  The two kittens immediately took to curling up in Cliff's favorite chair, although there are at least four similar chairs available.  Again, my husband endured the shame of being put out of his own chair.  Buttons still owns that same chair, although he doesn't spend nearly as much time in the shop as he used to.  

I was relaxing in the shade the other evening when I saw the grandson getting ready to close up the shop, and Cliff moseying toward the house.  Behind him, Buttons capered and romped, frolicking all around my husband and following in his footsteps.

I laughed as hard as I have in a long, long time.  You see, I had just read about the cat that Ove hated so much getting injured and finally being hauled into Ove's house to spend the rest of his days.  Cliff isn't a curmudgeon, but somehow a cat following playfully around him like that was almost too much for me to process.  


Margaret said...

I just finished that book too, and it definitely grew on me. Some hard parts to read, but also many beautiful passages. A bit difficult for a widow/widower to read though.


a great book no question about it. cute story you told about cliff and the cat too.

Mary Degli Esposti said...

Over the years, the cumulative effect of your Cliff stories had left me thinking I could not possibly like him more. Now I like him more.