I love A Man Called Ove. He is my hero. I am twenty-two pages from the end of his story, and I cannot bear the thought of pulling up the covers, and calling it a night.
I plan to write a note to my son, on the dedication page…For You. I plan to send the book to him with a sticky note attached.
The note will read as follows:
Read this. Slowly. Inch your way through. Pause after a paragraph. Stop for the similes. Hesitate with each sigh. Do not miss a syllable, nor skim a page. Take days or weeks, but devour it as you would a favorite meal, with gusto, yet with restraint, lingering over the final chew and swallow, the signal that texts, you are sated and complete.
Then send it to your father. Pass along a message, too. How to read it. Why he should. Why you did. Send it with a message of love, from a son who knows that it is not what we say, but what we do that matters.
Then, your father, following your explicit instructions, in a reversal of roles, will read A Man Called Ove, slowly and tenderly, as a gift from you, received only to be passed along, to his eldest son, completing the familial circle of fathers and sons.
The father will say to his oldest, this, this is my gift to you. Read it and weep. Read it and chuckle. Find yourself, your brother, your mother and I, on its pages.
Men of few words are often men of great deeds.
However, occasionally, men being men, lack the female gene dictating that some words must be said, that time and unexpected events may rob us of the chance to say I love you, until it is too late.
I love A Man Called Ove.
Most of all share it with someone that you love.
There is A Man Called Ove in all of our lives.
Tell him. Tell him he matters, not so much for what he says, but for what he does, each and every single day.
We, the women, will help fill in where the words should be.
But for now, I must leave you, as A Man Called Ove is waiting to tell me the end of his story, while I am sitting here barely able to let him go.
One final suggestion. I know, I know, I know that you my readers love great prose. I hold in my hands, your sweet letters of encouragement, as I began my own journey telling tales. Tell them. Tell the authors who wrestle with your heart. The ones who soothe your soul. The ones who make you laugh out loud. The ones who hold you so tightly against their chest, that you wonder if they are peeking over your shoulder watching your life unfold with such familiarity, that the goosebumps travel down your spine.
Tell them in a comment section on Amazon. Send them an email. Or for maximum benefit, write them a note. You know the Mother Told Me Rule…Thank you notes via Snail Mail are the clincher.
In this world where there sometimes seems to be nothing good, nothing warranting hope or comfort, there remain great writers waiting to fill your heart and your head with the greatest comfort food on the table. Stories of courage, loss, redemption and the sweetest treat of all, hope.
Dear Fredrik Backman….
A Sincere and Grateful Fan