Week 1: What a Sourpuss!

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A “Cat Annoyance” … according to Ove.

Sister Mary Core, OSB

Our first discussion of A Man called Ove was delightfully interesting!

Opening remarks about the book included everything from “what a sourpuss” to “he reminds me of my husband.”

One of the first questions to rise was, “Sister, you always pull something spiritual from our books, but so far, I’m not experiencing much spirituality. What’s up?”

Transformation, Redemption and Resurrection are all alive and well in this book. Hang in there and you’ll see!

The eclectic cast will take you through the slow and real-life journey of being changed … which is sometimes almost imperceptible.

Like the growth of a flower, we can stand over it and not see a thing happening.

Yet, the flower is becoming what it is meant to be. Only by stepping away for a day or two, do we notice the growth which has taken place.

You’ll discover a lot of slow growth here!

Those who had read a little further in the book noted that Ove began to grow on them (to use the metaphor!).

They agreed that life events play a big role in who we become.

As we shared our reactions and insights, it became clear that those who had initially been put off by Ove (and the book) were wanting to read further.

We focused on some of the following questions:

  1. What did you think of Ove after the first chapter, when he attempts to buy an I-Pad?
  2. What do you think of Parveneh and how she relates to Ove?
  3. What do you think of Ove’s not calling people by their name but rather by descriptors? For example the Pregnant Woman, the Lanky One, or the Cat Annoyance, etc.? Why does he do this?
  4. How do you feel about the author’s alternating between present and past to tell the story? What do you think was his purpose?
  5. What do you think of Ove’s conversations and relationship with his wife, Sonja?
  6. Do you think the book would have worked as well if the lead character had been a woman (Ovina)? Why or why not?

Post your comments here if you wish, and I’ll share them with the Wisdom Seekers. I’ll reply to them – and perhaps others will, too!

Part 2: Coming to know the real Ove

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