The more reasons we have to hate Ove, the more we love him. He loves rules more than people. He scowls instead of smiles. And he certainly won’t put up with BMW owners. Ove’s relationship with himself changes over time, too. Neighbors keep thwarting his suicide attempts with their annoying requests, and he keeps answering their pleas. The Pregnant One and her husband, The Lanky One, can’t open their windows. “IT consultant” (whatever that means) Jimmy seems to do nothing but eat and want to talk Ove. Social Services want to take demented Rune away from his wife, Anita. Is Ove willing to bid his old enemy good riddance? Fredrik Backman keeps us in suspense about Ove by going back and forth in time, telling Ove’s story backwards and forwards. The past threatens to swallow Ove, but the present also gives him reason to keep going. With heart-warming wit and sentences as spare as Ove’s own attempts at dialogue, this story brings color where there is only black and white. It might even inspire readers to adopt a stray cat.