28 Engaging A Man Called Ove Book Club Questions

Are you reading A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman as part of your book club this month and you want to go in armed with some insightful questions? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

We’ve compiled a list of book club questions for A Man Called Ove so you can start an engaging conversation about the novel with your book club members.

Of course, when discussing books at a book club, often organic questions come up based on what people have to say, so use these A Man Called Ove book club questions as a guide to get you started and to inspire the conversation should it be dwindling.

Also to make your life easier, we’ve prepared a list of suggestions for what to read next, so you can offer some suggestions for the next read.

Left it too late to plan your book club meeting? Don’t worry, we have your back…


Synopsis

The book follows the story of Ove, a grumpy old man that the neighborhood has deemed “the bitter neighbor from hell”. However, there’s a lot more under the surface of Ove’s mean exterior.

Ove hasn’t had the best experiences with people. He has been conned and taken advantage of by people in the past. The only person he cared for, his wife, lost her life in a tragic accident.

These experiences have led to Ove having a hard shell and coming across as a curmudgeon to everyone in his neighborhood.

It’s not until a new family moves in next door and an unkempt cat enters his life that a different side of the man is revealed.

This popular best-seller was made into a Swedish movie in 2015. A Man Called Ove has also inspired an American movie titled A Man Called Otto. It’s set to release on Christmas Day in 2022 and stars Tom Hanks as Otto.

Spoiler Alert! 

Please note that the questions below contain spoilers of the book.


Generic Book Club Questions for A Man Called Ove

Let’s begin the list with some generic questions to get the ball rolling. These book club questions for A Man Called Ove are designed to encourage every member of your group to say something about the book.

Perhaps you have a shy member of the group or a newbie? These will help give them the confidence to speak up.

  • What did you think about the book? (obvious, but we have to say it).
  • What were your expectations before reading A Man Called Ove?
  • How did A Man Called Ove make you feel?
  • Which was the most interesting scene in the book, in your opinion?
  • Were there any characters that you felt you can relate to in any way?
  • What are the key principles you have learned from the book? What have you taken away from the story?
  • Did you feel this was a slow-burning novel or a real page-turner?
  • Would you recommend this book to others?
  • What do you think the front cover represents?
  • Let’s talk about the ending. Were you shocked?

A Man Called Ove Discussion Questions

Once you’ve gone through the general chit chat, it’s time to open up a deeper and more meaningful discussion. Here are book club discussion questions for A Man Called Ove we recommend you bring up…

  • How do you think the character of Ove changed over the course of the book? How did your opinion of him change as you read through the story and learned more about his past?
  • Ove has a pessimistic mindset – what do you think contributed to this? What made him so cynical?
  • What do you think is the cause of Ove’s dislike of the modern world?
  • Why do you think Parveneh sought a friendship with Ove? What do you think she saw in him?
  • Ove lives his life in routine. Everything is about precision and carefully measured choices. What do you think is the reason for this?
  • What do you think Ove’s purpose for inspecting the neighborhood is? What is he looking to find?
  • Let’s discuss the friendship between Parveneh and Ove, who do you think gained the most from the friendship? Who was better for who?
  • How do you think the story compares to day-to-day life? Do you think people perceive grief in the same way as Ove?

Educated Book Club Questions for A Man Called Ove

Want to dive deeper into the philosophy and hidden messages of the book? Then you’re going to want to ask some of these educated book club questions for A Man Called Ove.

  • How do you think Ove would be different if he had children of his own? What was the influence of Ove’s parents on him?
  • Ove says he hates “men in white shirts” – what do you think he means by this? Why do you think he feels this way?
  • Do you think Ove is coping with his grief or ignoring it?
  • Let’s talk about Ove’s perception of his life. He has tried to take his own life on more than one occasion. What do you think his thought process was for this? Why do you think he chose life over death?
  • Do you think the story would be different if it was Ove who passed instead of Sonja?
  • What do you make of the alternating timelines? Did this seem confusing? Did it make the story more interesting?
  • Ove is part of a community watch. What does “community” mean to you?
  • What legacy does Ove leave behind?
  • Ove seems to be a different person when he is with Sonja. Do you agree? What do you think was the reason for their love? What did Sonja see in Ove?
  • What do you think the author meant when they wrote: “People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it’s often one of the great motivations for living. Some of us, in time, become so conscious of it that we live harder, more obstinately, with more fury. 

5 Suggestions for What to Read Next

Now you have a list of A Man Called Ove book club questions for your book club meeting, it’s time to plan the next one. Here are some suggestions for books to read next.

If your book club is looking for affordable ways to read more books, you’ll find some of these titles on Kindle Unlimited

1. American Dirt – Jeanine Cummins

American Dirt is a New York Times bestseller and Oprah Book Club selection. The story follows a woman named Lydia, who lives in Acapulco with her son and husband, who works as a journalist.

But Acapulco’s cartels are beginning to terrorize the town and Lydia’s life is starting to feel comfortable. When her husband published a tell-all profile about the newest drug lord, their lives are about to be turned upside down.

Lydia and Luca her son are forced to flee amongst the hundreds of other people trying to reach the United States. Everyone is running from something, but where are they running to?


2. The Lost Apothecary – Sarah Penner

The Lost Apothecary is a suspenseful novel of secrets, vengeance, and sisterhood.

In the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an esoteric clientele. 

Rumors abound of a mysterious woman who sells deadly poisons to women in order to protect themselves from their abusive husbands or male partners. However, the apothecary’s fate is in jeopardy when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake that leads to consequences that continue through the centuries.

Caroline Parcewell, an aspiring historian, spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone in present-day London. She is researching the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago when she stumbles upon a clue that leads her to the apothecary.

However, Caroline’s life soon collides with the apothecary in a stunning twist of fate, and not everyone will survive.


3. A Gentleman In Moscow – Amor Towles

A Gentleman in Moscow is the breakout novel by author Amor Towles.

This story centers around Count Alexander Rostov in 1922. After being assumed an unrepentant aristocrat, he is sentenced to house arrest where he has to stay in a room in Metropol, a grand hotel.

While Rostov is under house arrest, many life-changing events are unfolding just outside the hotel’s doors.

Rostov had a reputation for being a knowledgeable man with great wit.

However, he has never worked a day in his life and was used to the finer things before his sentence to house arrest in the hotel.

While being locked away in isolation should have broken him, the new life circumstances provided an outlet to discover his true emotions.


4. The Great Alone – Kristin Hannah

Set in Alaska in 1974, the story follows Ernt Allbright who came home from the Vietnam War a different man. After he loses his job and decides to move his wife and daughter north to live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Cora will do anything for her husband, including following him into the unknown. Their teenage daughter, Leni, has little choice but to go along.

In this remote corner of Alaska, the Allbrights find an independent community of strong men and women whose generosity make up for the lack of preparation and resources.

As winter approaches, Ernt’s fragile mental health starts to deteriorate and the perils from outside are nothing compared to what lurks within.

In their small cabin drenched in snow, they live each day with 18 hours of night cover. Soon they are forced to realize, they’re really alone.


5. The Alice Network – Kate Quinn

The Alice Network is a work of historical fiction about two women who meet after WWII.

One was a spy that was recruited for the real-life Alice Network in France during WWI, and the other was an American looking for her cousin. The two women are brought together in a story of courage and redemption.

After the end of the second World War, Charlie St. Clair is pregnant and unmarried, and about to be kicked out of her family. She’s also hoping her beloved cousin Rose might still be alive. When her parents banish her to Europe, she sees an opportunity to find out what happened to her cousin.

Eve Gardiner signs up to fight against the Germans in 1915 working as a spy. There, she’s trained by Lili, the “Queen of Spies”, who introduces her to a network of secret agents.

Haunted by the betrayal, she spends her days drinking in a crumbling London house. When an American woman asks for a name she hasn’t heard in decades, the pair work together to find out the truth. 


Final Word on A Man Called Ove Book Club Questions

So there you have it, those were the best book club questions on A Man Called Ove. I hope that these helped you start and drive the conversation at your next meeting.

If you had any interesting questions come up about this book, let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear from you.

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a man called ove book club questions

About Louisa

Editor/Founder - Epic Book Society

Louisa is the founder, editor, and head honcho of Epic Book Society. Once a published poet at the age of 7, she aspired to become a journalist, but that career hit a wall so here she is writing about books instead. When she's not writing about books, she's teaching English to primary school kids around the world.

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