STARRED REVIEW
March 2017

Connecting across generations through jazz

By Sara Lovestam
Review by

Swedish author Sara Lövestam’s first novel to be published in the U.S. captures contemporary teen life and the world of 1940s Sweden, filtered through the universal language of music.

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Swedish author Sara Lövestam’s first novel to be published in the U.S. captures contemporary teen life and the world of 1940s Sweden, filtered through the universal language of music.

In this tale of two eras, aspiring musician Steffi Herra, age 15, keeps a jazz-infused fugue in her head as a defense against mean-girl bullies. After a chance encounter with Alvar, an elderly jazz bassist, Steffi soon becomes a regular visitor at his nursing home. While listening to classical jazz forms the basis of their relationship, Steffi also receives rich human and historical perspectives about life in neutral Sweden during World War II. As Alvar recounts the tale of his journey to Stockholm at 17, Steffi discovers the impetus she needs to pursue her own dreams of attending a prestigious music academy in Stockholm.

Musicians will respond with glee to the authentic musical references, and non-musicians will enjoy the realistic and loving portrait of a young girl pursuing her passion. Wonderful Feels Like This offers grace notes on cross-generational companionship and the pursuit of a dream, whatever the era. 

 

This article was originally published in the March 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Wonderful Feels Like This

Wonderful Feels Like This

By Sara Lovestam
Flatiron
ISBN 9781250095237

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