A feel-good story of an unconventional friendship between an old retired jazz musician and a young girl who is trying to find her place in the world.
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.
Sara Loevestam used to teach Swedish to immigrants and is a freelance journalist. In 2009 she won the Bok-SM award for her first novel, Udda. Wonderful Feels Like This is Sara's first novel to be published in English.