Ove is grumpy, quiet, lonely, and suicidal. He is about 59 years old. He is very traditional. He does not like anyone, but he makes an exception once he gets to know Parvaneh and Patrick's family. He lost everyone he ever loved. He was married to Sonja. He is constantly thinking of what Sonja would have wanted him to do if she was still alive.
Parvaneh is very outgoing and pushy. She is Ove's neighbor, and Ove refers to her as "The Foreign Pregnant Woman." She is Iranian and she is pregnant throughout most of the book. She is married to Patrick. She relates to Ove.
Rune is Ove's neighbor. He was once Ove's friend, but he eventually becomes enemies with Ove. He is married to Anita. He is a lot like Ove; quiet and traditional. He becomes ill with Alzheimer's disease and requires intensive home care.
Sonja is very outgoing and talkative. When Sonja met Ove, people said that Ove lived in black and white and that Sonja was the only color in his life. She made Ove's life bright and lively. She lost a child in an accident that caused her to be paralyzed from the waist down. She was a school teacher for troubled students. She died of cancer.
Ove refers to Patrick as "The Lanky One," because he is very tall. He is married to Parvaneh. He works as an IT consultant. He is goofy, outgoing, and awkward. Ove thinks he is ridiculous and infuriating.
Ove describes Anita as tiny and ashy. She is brave and courageous. She was best friends with Sonja. She had one son. She fought for almost two years to keep her husband at home instead of being moved to assisted living due to his disease.