Week #2: Coming to Know the Real Man

ove movie pic

Ove and Parvaneh as depicted in the movie.

By Sister Mary Core, OSB

This session we began our discussion with heavy hearts, praying for the victims of the Las Vegas Shooting, and the continued suffering of the victims of earthquakes, hurricanes, and wild fires.

Our focus then landed on Ove. Our first impression of him is of a gruff and uncaring man.

How opposite from the first impressions we get from so many people who look like model citizens but turn out to be dangerous killers, much like the Vegas shooter.

Our conclusion was the old adage: “Never judge a book by its cover.”

Some of us felt it would be easier to read this book if the events had been written in chronological order rather than with “flashback” chapters.

Yet, we don’t get to know people in a linear fashion either. We come to know others in a similar flashback style, with pieces of their past revealed gradually.

Eventually, we begin to appreciate their life journey with its hills and valleys.

We can reflect on how they have inspired, encouraged, changed and graced us.

We can begin to realize how we do the same in the lives of those we encounter each day.

May all our daily journeys grace us with the opportunity to respond as Jesus told us: “Take up your cross and come, follow me.”

Some questions for pondering:

  • What did Ove’s many failed “suicide attempts” say to you about the man?
  • Did you have any “aha” moments about why Ove was the way he was, as you came to know his life?
  • How did Tom affect Ove’s life – for good or ill?
  • What was the meaning/importance of Ove only feeding the birds every other day?
  • What personal experiences in your life could have made you into a “curmudgeon”? What keeps you from becoming one?

Week #3: Learning to Love Ove

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