Late summer book choice was A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
(we also read another book by him - My Grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorry)
Here is a NYTimes 2016 review
Fredrik Backman got tepid responses when he sent out the manuscript for his debut novel, “A Man Called Ove.” Most publishers ignored him, and several turned it down.
After a few months and a few more rejections, he began to think perhaps there wasn’t a market for a story about a cranky 59-year-old Swedish widower who tries and fails to kill himself.
“It was rejected by one publisher with the line, ‘We like your novel, we think your writing has potential, but we see no commercial potential,” said Mr. Backman, 35, who lives outside Stockholm with his wife and two children. “That note I kept.”
In hindsight, that critique seems wildly, comically off base. Four years later, “A Man Called Ove” has sold more than 2.8 million copies worldwide, making the book one of Sweden’s most popular literary exports since Stieg Larsson’s thriller “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
The novel’s protagonist, Ove, is a lonely curmudgeon who screams at his neighbors for parking in the wrong place and punches a hospital clown whose magic tricks annoy him. Six months after his wife’s death, he’s planning to commit suicide and has turned off his radiators, canceled his newspaper subscription and anchored a hook into the ceiling to hang himself. But he keeps getting interrupted by his clueless, prying neighbors. He strikes up a friendship with an Iranian immigrant and her two young daughters, who find Ove’s grumpiness endearing.
Peter Borland, who acquired United States rights to “Ove” for Atria, said he was struck by the book’s pathos and humor.
Molly Hosted the Dinner Party: