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28 Engaging A Man Called Ove Book Club Questions

Last Updated on June 21, 2023 by Louisa

Reading A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman as part of your book club this month? Then you will want to prepare for it with some insightful A Man Called Ove book club questions to bring up.

In this guide, I’ve shared 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.

Use these questions as a guide to open up deeper, more meaningful conversations. These book club questions are the ideal starting point to inspire conversation or pick it up again when it’s dwindling.

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

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through any of these links. 

Synopsis of A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove is a heart-warming best-seller that has been captivating readers for years.

This beloved story follows the journey of Ove, a grumpy old man whom everyone in his neighborhood has deemed as “the bitter neighbor from hell”.

Yet beneath Ove’s tough exterior lies a broken person who has been conned and taken advantage of by people he trusted, and still mourns the death of his late wife.

However, it isn’t until he meets an unkempt cat and a new family moves in next door that a different side to him is revealed – leading to joyous moments of redemption and growth.

This story has inspired a Swedish movie in 2015, as well as an upcoming American movie starring Tom Hanks set to release on Christmas Day in 2022.

Related post: Books like A Man Called Ove

Spoiler Alert! 

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

Generic Book Club Questions for A Man Called Ove

While generic questions may not always touch on the more nuanced or complex themes of a novel, they can still provide an opportunity for different perspectives and interpretations to be discussed.

So be sure to kick start your meeting with some generic A Man Called Ove book club questions which can lead to more specific and detailed discussions as the conversation progresses.

  • What did you think about the book?
  • 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

Discussion questions can help readers to analyze and interpret the story, characters, and themes on a deeper level.

They can also spark interesting debates and conversations about different aspects of the book, such as the author’s writing style, the historical or cultural context, or the relevance of the story to contemporary issues.

So with that in mind, here are some discussion questions for A Man Called Ove for your book club meeting.

  • 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

Educated book club questions may focus on elements such as symbolism, metaphor, point of view, narrative structure, or use of language.

By examining these elements in the context of the book being discussed, readers can gain a greater appreciation for the author’s craft and the complexity of the story.

So if you want to have a more educated discussion, come prepared with 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.

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

In The Lost Apothecary, a suspenseful novel of secrets, vengeance, and sisterhood, Caroline Parcewell’s life collides with the fate of an eighteenth-century apothecary shop in a stunning twist of fate.

In the depths of London, rumors abound of a mysterious woman who sells poisons to women seeking protection from their abusive husbands or partners.

However, when her newest patron – a precocious twelve-year-old – makes a fatal mistake, consequences follow through the centuries that will not be forgotten.

On her tenth wedding anniversary alone in present-day London, Caroline researches the unsolved murders connected to the apothecary and discovers a clue that potentially puts everyone’s lives in danger.

But as she unravels more of this thrilling story, she soon realizes that not everyone will survive.

3. A Gentleman In Moscow – Amor Towles

A Gentleman in Moscow is Amor Towles’ breakout novel, a story of Count Alexander Rostov in 1922 who is assumed an unrepentant aristocrat and sentenced to house arrest at the grand Metropol hotel.

This isolation should have broken him, however, instead it provided an opportunity to discover his true emotions.

Despite his reputation as a knowledgeable man with great wit, Rostov had never worked a day in his life and was accustomed to the finer things – yet this period of confinement leads him on an eye-opening journey that profoundly changes him as he observes life-changing events just outside the hotel’s doors.

Related post: A Gentleman In Moscow Book Club Questions

4. The Great Alone – Kristin Hannah

1974 Alaska is the setting for Ernt Allbright’s story, a man who returned from the Vietnam War a changed man.

Having lost his job, he moves his wife and daughter to the most rural land of America to live off the grid.

Cora is determined to stand by her husband in this endeavor while their teenage daughter Leni has no choice but to go along.

In this remote corner of Alaska, they find an altruistic community whose kindness supersedes any lack of supplies or preparations.

As winter draws near, Ernt’s mental health deteriorates just as a blizzard takes over the area.

This small family finds themselves alone in their cabin amidst 18 hours of night cover, with forces from within being more menacing than those outside.

5. The Alice Network – Kate Quinn

The Alice Network is a work of historical fiction revolving around two women that meet after WWII.

One was a spy recruited for the Alice Network in France during WWI, while the other an American looking to locate her cousin.

Charlie St Clair, pregnant and unmarried, is about to be thrown out by her family when she hears rumors about the whereabouts of Rose. Seizing this opportunity, she embarks on a journey across Europe.

Eve Gardiner had also answered the call from 1915 to become an agent in the war effort as part of a secret society led by “Queen of Spies” Lili.

After suffering betrayal at the hands of Lili, Eve spends her days drinking in London when Charlie appears at her doorstep with questions that reignite old memories.

Together they embark on a mission to uncover the truth behind Rose’s disappearance.

Final Word on A Man Called Ove Book Club Questions

Thanks for reading, bookish friends! I hope these A Man Called Ove book club questions provide a starting point for your next discussion.

Remember, the best book club conversations are the ones where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions.

A Man Called Ove is a story that speaks to the human experience, and I hope these questions help you to explore the themes of the novel in greater depth.

Whether you’re discussing the importance of community or the power of love, there’s no limit to the insights and perspectives that can be shared.

And if you have any questions or comments about these discussion questions, feel free to leave them below. Happy discussing!

a man called ove book club questions
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About Louisa Smith

Editor/Founder - Epic Book Society

Louisa is the Founder, Editor, and Head Honcho of Epic Book Society. She was born and raised in the United Kingdom and graduated from the University for the Creative Arts with a degree in Journalism. Louisa began her writing career at the age of 7 when her poetry was published in an anthology of poems to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee. Upon graduating university, she spent several years working as a journalist writing about books before transitioning to become a Primary School Teacher. Louisa loves all genres of books, but her favorites are Sci-Fi, Romance, Fantasy, and Young Adult Fiction. Read more Louisa's story here.

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