BOOKS

Wonderful Feels Like This

Sara Lövestam Laura Wideburg

RRP: £10.99

6 April 2017

Published by Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781760292072

RRP: £3.99

6 April 2017

Published by Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781952535918

What can a bullied teenager learn from an old man spending his days in a retirement home? For a start, she’ll learn that it ain’t got a thing, if it ain’t got that swing…

Passing by a retirement home on her way from yet another awful day at school, she hears a familiar song playing through an open window. An old man is playing her musical idol Povel Ramel – a quirky jazz musician from the 1940s – and it sparks a new stage of her life. The man’s name is Alvar and just like Steffi, he has a huge interest in music.

Before long he starts telling her his story. In his youth, as the Second World War tore across Europe, he travelled to Stockholm. Young, innocent and quite naive, Alvar began his life in the big city, struggling to become a famous jazz musician. Or at least someone who was in a band. Or at the very least someone who could dance the jitterbug and talk to girls.

Intrigued and inspired by Alvar’s story, Steffi spends more and more time at the retirement home, learning about jazz and forgetting about school. She begins to realize that she doesn’t have to be the Steffi other people know; instead, as Alvar did, she can recreate herself through music.

REVIEWS

Sensitive and deeply moving: outstanding.
Kirkus Reviews

Empathy, identity, and the transformative power of music bind this tale of an atypical friendship between a teenage outcast and a jazz musician.
Publishers Weekly

Lövestam is a musical writer, with such an eye on language and storytelling that she can do almost anything she wants... She writes with the perfect pitch.Malin Persson Giolito
Amelia

A well written, warm and cosy story about how unexpectedly you can find a friend when you most need one.Stefan Holm
Värmland Folkblad

I know of no writer who can make me so genuinely happy as Sara Lövestam does... And if I'm ever asked what is the best book I've ever read, I will definitely answer: Wonderful Feels Like This.Annika Koldenius