She just smiled, said that she loved books more than anything, and started telling him excitedly what each of the ones in her lap was about. And Ove realised that he wanted to hear her talking about the things she loved for the rest of his life.
One morning you wake up with more life behind you than in front of you, not being able to understand how it’s happened.
The women glare at each other. Grin. You have friends when you're fifteen years old. Sometimes you get them back.
Soccer forces life to move on. There’s always a new match. A new season. There’s always a dream that everything can get better. It’s a game of wonders.
Sometimes it's easier to go on living, not even knowing who you are, when at least you know precisely where you are while you go on not knowing.
At a certain age almost all the questions a person asks him or herself are really just about one thing: how should you live your life?
Death is a strange thing. 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.
It's strange how quickly the significance of of a certain smell can change, depending on what path it decides to take through the brain. It's strange how close love and fear live to each other.
In the beginning the queen had been a courageous and fair-minded princess very much liked by all, but unfortunately she grew up and became a frightened adult, as adults tend to be. She started loving efficiency and avoiding conflict. As adults do.
Ove çould not in all honesty remember how it all started. It wasn't the sort of dispute where you did remember. It was more an argument where the little disagreements had ended up so entangled that every new word was treacherously booby-trapped, and in the end it wasn't possible to open one's mouth at all without setting off at least four unexploded mines from earlier conflicts. It was the sort of argument that had just run, and run, and run. Until one day it just ran out.
You can love something without loving everything about it. You don't have to feel embarrassed about not being proud. That applies to hockey, but it also applies to friends.
Or that time she made a snowman in Britt-Marie and Kent’s garden right under their balcony and dressed it up in grown-up clothes so it looked as if a person had fallen from the roof.
Around them, the dawn gently wakes Borg like someone breathing into the ear of someone they love. With sun and promises. Tickling light falls over warm duvets, like the smell of freshly brewed coffee and toasted bread. It shouldn't be doing this. It's the wrong day to be beautiful, but the dawn doesn't care.
The worst thing about having power over other people's lives is that you sometimes get things wrong.
One of the first things you learn as a leader, whether you choose the position of have it forced upon you, is that leadership is as much about what you don't say as what you do say.
Don't people get married because they're full of love and then divorced when they run out of it? (Elsa)Did you learn that one in school? (Mom)It's my own theory. (Elsa)
Mum is a perfectionist and Dad is a pedant and that was partly why their marriage didn't work so well, Elsa figures. Because a perfectionist and a pedant are two very different things.
The very worst events in life have that effect on a family: we always remember, more sharply than anything else, the last happy moments before everything fell apart.
There's something quite special about a granny's house. Even if ten or twenty or thirty years go by, you never forget how it smells.
Until there are so many of them that no one dares to chase them anymore. Until they're an army in themselves. Because if a sufficient number of people are different, no one has to be normal.
All passion is childish. It's banal and naive. It's nothing we learn; it's instinctive, and so it overwhelms us. Overturns us. It bears us away in a flood. All other emotions belong to the earth, but passion inhabits the universe. That is the reason why passion is worth something, not for what it gives us but for what it demands that we risk. Our dignity. The puzzlement of others and their condescending, shaking heads.
All passion is childish. It's banal and naive. It's nothing we learn; it's instinctive, and so it overwhelms us. Overturns us. It bears us away in a flood. All other emotions belong to the earth, but passion inhabits the universe.
The children's hobbies aren't only the children's hobbies - the parents put just as many hours into them, year after year, sacrificing so much, paying out such huge amounts of money, that their significance eats its way even into adult brains. They started to symbolize other things compensating for or reinforcing the parents' own failures.
Children need the lie to be brave enough to sleep in their beds, parents need it to be able to get up the next morning.
All marriages have their bad sides, because people have weaknesses. If you live with another human being you learn to handle these weaknesses in a variety of ways. For instance, you might take the view that weaknesses are a bit like heavy pieces of furniture, and based on this you must learn to clean around them. To maintain the illusion.
Normal life is presentable. In normal life, you clean up the kitchen and keep your balcony tidy and take care of your children. It's hard work--harder than one might think.
Anita is small and colourless in her grey trousers, grey knitted cardigan, grey hair and grey skin. But ove notices that her face is slightly red-eyed and swollen. Quickly she wipes her eyes and blinks away the pain. As women of that generation do. As if they stood in the doorway every morning, determinedly driving sorrow out of the house with a broom.
Life is a Curious Thing. Winter turns to spring and Parvaneh passes her driving test. Of teaches Adrian how to change tires. The kid may have bought a Toyota, but that doesn't mean he's entirely beyond help, Ove explains to Sonja when he visits her one Sunday in April. The he shows her some photographs of Parvaneh's little boy. Four months old and as fat as a seal pup. Patrick has tried to force one of those cell phone camera things on Ove, but he doesn't trust them. So he walks around with a thick wad of paper copies inside his wallet instead, held together by a rubber band. Shows everyone he meets. Even the people who work at the florist's
And in an apartment on the other side of town, everyone wakes up with a start when the hound in the first-floor flat, without any warning, starts howling. Louder and more heartrendingly than anything they have ever heard coming out of the primal depths of any animal. As if it is singing with the sorrow and yearning of an eternity of ten thousand fairy tales. It howls for hours, all through the night, until dawn. And when the morning light seeps into the hospital room, Elsa wakes up in Granny's arms. But Granny is still in Miamas.
It's been six months since she died. But Ove still inspects the whole house twice a day to feel the radiators and check that she hasn't sneakily turned up the heating.