A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove Chapter 29 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Parvaneh, the cat, and Ove reach the cafe after arguing over where to park. Ove recognizes the young man with black stuff around his eyes. The young man smiles at Ove and Ove nods back, noting that the young man is giving a homeless person sandwiches. Ove and Parvaneh enter the cafe and the youth greets them, introducing himself as Adrian and offering them something to drink. Parvaneh asks for a latte and Ove asks for black coffee. Adrian admits he doesn't know how to make filter coffee. Ove curses and walks around behind the counter to make it himself.
The young man already bears a great deal of similarity to Sonja: he cares for the homeless and earlier encouraged his companion to not argue, just as Sonja encouraged Ove to let things be. However much Ove might initially be okay with these young men, however, he can't escape his "kids these days" mentality when Adrian admits he can't make drip coffee.
Themes
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Parvaneh asks why they're at the cafe and Ove explains that Adrian's bike needs to be repaired. Adrian thanks Ove for bringing the bike and explains to Parvaneh that the bike is his sort-of-girlfriend's. Parvaneh smiles and suggests that Ove has a heart. Adrian fetches his tools as the young man with dark stuff around his eyes comes into the cafe. Adrian introduces the young man as his boss and Ove asks where the coffee filters are. He explains to the perplexed young man that Adrian is going to fix a bike.
Though Ove is certainly showing more of his heart, helping Adrian fix the bike is also an opportunity for him to encourage the despised younger generation to actually do something rather than purchase or talk about it. This is a way for Ove to give back to the younger generation, just like Sonja did, which he never got to do before (or never had the desire to do prior to the present).
Themes
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Ove asks the young man if he's wearing makeup. Parvaneh hushes Ove. The boy smiles nervously, confirms that it's makeup, and accepts a wet wipe from Parvaneh as he explains that he went dancing last night. Ove offhandedly wonders if the young man has love and girl problems, and the young man chuckles that he doesn't have problems with girls. Ove asks the young man if he's "bent" and Parvaneh promptly slaps him. Ove doesn't understand why he can't say "bent" or "queer," though the young man doesn't seem concerned. Ove pours himself coffee and takes his cup outside.
Remember that Ove has very distinct ideas of what constitutes appropriate male and female behavior, one that's rooted in his memories of the past and how things used to be. However, though the young man's sexual orientation seems certainly outside Ove's understanding, he seems entirely unconcerned that the young man is gay. This suggests that even if Ove does believe in traditional gender roles, he also believes in minding one’s business when it comes to personal matters.
Themes
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Adrian is standing behind the Saab looking lost. Ove gives Adrian his cup and unhooks the bike for him. He asks Adrian if his dad didn't teach him to repair a bike, and Adrian mumbles that his dad's in prison. Ove is silent for a minute and then talks Adrian through repairing the puncture. When they're done, Ove says that he hopes the girl is worth it.
The actual absence of Adrian's father allows Ove to step in and fill that role for the time being. As Ove builds his network of friends, he gets to be the parent figure he never got to be in the past. This begins to develop the idea that Ove is building a "chosen family" of sorts.
Themes
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
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When Ove and Adrian re-enter the cafe, a short, wide man is on a ladder messing with the fan heater. The young man is holding a box of tools, and Parvaneh introduces the wide man as Amel, the owner of the cafe. Amel is cursing in a language Ove doesn't understand. Adrian asks what Amel is saying, and the young man uncomfortably and quietly says that Amel is saying the fan is "worthless like a homo." Parvaneh is delighted by the foreign-language profanity.
The young man's proficiency in Amel's language suggests the two are related, while Amel's particular word choice to describe the fan suggests that he not only doesn't know that his son is gay, but certainly wouldn't be pleased to find out. This implies a tenuous family situation, one that once again challenges Ove's prioritization of family over all else.
Themes
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Amel asks Ove if the cat belongs to him. Ove insists it doesn't, and Amel insists the cat has to go. Ove says that if he fixes the fan heater, the cat stays. Amel gets off the ladder and Ove fixes the fan in minutes. Amel excitedly offers Ove whiskey, which Ove uncomfortably refuses. As Ove leaves the cafe, Adrian runs after him and asks Ove to not say anything to Amel about the young man, whose name is Mirsad, being gay. Ove insists that Adrian has more pressing worries, since he wants to buy a French car, but promises not to say anything.
Adrian and Mirsad seem close personally in addition to their professional relationship. Adrian's distrust of Ove mirrors Ove's own distrust of people, but here Ove has the opportunity to teach Adrian a lesson that Ove himself is still learning: he has nothing to gain from and no reason to out Mirsad, so why would he?
Themes
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon