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.