Days of Bossa Nova

Ines Rodrigues

Days of Bossa Nova is a modern Latin American family saga, a multicultural page-turner that takes place in São Paulo, Brazil. The book tells the story of Felipe Navarra since his humble childhood in the 1940’s, when his impoverished and widowed mother moves to the big city with six children in search of better times. They rent a house in a working class neighborhood, where the previous tenants had left an old radio in the kitchen. The radio becomes the center of their family life, a source of dreams amidst their hard life.

The Book

“A family saga flavored with coffee, political turmoil and Brazilian music.”

Felipe grows up listening to boleros, radionovelas and Bossa Nova, dreaming of working as a radio host. He is set to become rich and famous and to find love in the arms of Valentina, his childhood sweetheart, but he sells his soul to the devil along the way.

Felipe’s journey is also deeply shaped by the city where he grows up.  He learns how to love it, like a man loves a woman. The book is also a portrait of this chaotic, dangerous and fascinating place over the last 70 years. Brazilian history intertwines with the family’s destiny, and the novel also portraits the city’s contrasts between opulent wealth and extreme poverty.


The setting is a very important element in Days of Bossa Nova and São Paulo is one of its main characters. It wouldn’t be story set in Brazil if there wasn’t the flavour of rice and beans, coconut puddings and radionovelas, all seasoned by carnival marches, samba, romantic boleros and the unmistakable Bossa Nova beat. This musical style, which gained the world with the songs of Tom Jobim and João Gilberto, was born in Brazil in the late 1950’s. Many songs are known in America, like The Girl from Ipanema, probably the most famous of them. In this novel, Bossa Nova is also the symbol of a time when Brazil was a country full of promises, an open book to a bright future. Read the story to find out what happened between then and now.

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What our readers think about

Days of Bossa Nova

”I devoured this book! I loved the fiction story of this character while taking us through the real history of Brazil. I also loved the very pleasant writing style of the author, with humor, intelligence and a little pinch of sarcasm.”

Amel Derragui (NY)

“This is a fast read and has the reader wanting to turn to the next pages. You feel like you are walking the streets of São Paulo and taking in all it has to offer. The characters are so vivid. You get the sense that you know them yourself. Bravo, Ms. Rodrigues!”

Arthur Rivers (NY) 

“I read this book on a plane to California and was the last off the plane when we landed so that I could read the last few paragraphs. I am infatuated with her style.”
Bernice Gottlieb (CA)

“Days of Bossa Nova is an evocative, lyrical family tale set in Sao Paolo. The city comes to brilliant life. While the language is beautiful, the story remains gripping and powerful.”

Nancy Flanagan (CT)


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