Breathless

By Anne Sward

(Viking Adult, $26)

Six-year-old Lo, and Lukas, seven years her senior, become fast friends when a blaze rips through their Swedish village in the 1980s. The pair spends their summers and winters in an empty lake house, meeting in secret to recite lines from their favorite film, Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless. But an incident on Lo’s 15th birthday forever changes their friendship, propelling Lo on a dark journey through Berlin; Copenhagen, Denmark; and New York as she tries to escape the memories of Lukas and her childhood. This American debut from Swedish novelist Anne Sward is a coming-of-age tale told with a satisfying literary bent.