Mona travels from a village in Dalarna to Östersund, a small town in northern Sweden but to her it resembles New York. Everything feels monstrously large, and the city is filled with cafés, cinemas, dance palaces and handsome military men.
The year is 1958 and Mona has managed to get at job as a maid with a young family. The wife, Britt, works in an office and her husband Ove plays in a jazz band. They invite Mona in to the world of music and bring her to the dances where she gets to stand in the best spot, on the side in front of the stage. The self-confident but shy young guitarist in the band defends her in the crowds where women’s bodies are seen as universal male property. She falls for him.
Many years later mother and daughter are trying to sort out what happened during that time. It is a great darkness it seems, it is so nice to forget.
Anneli Jordahl’s novel is set in a time filled with optimism. But at the same time stained by class differences and predetermined potential. The pill did not yet exist, abortion was prohibited and the culture of honour hit hard against single teenage mothers.
Do you want to hear the music Mona listened to? Follow this link to Mona and Harold's favourite songs.