The Phone Box At The Edge Of The World by Laura Imai Messina

Thank you to the author, publisher and Tandem Collective for the copy of this audio book in return for my honest opinion.

Firstly, the blurb: When Yui loses her mother and daughter in the tsunami, she wonders how she will ever carry on. Yet, in the face of this unthinkable loss, life must somehow continue.

Then one day she hears about a man who has an old disused telephone box in his garden. There, those who have lost loved ones find the strength to speak to them and begin to come to terms with their grief. As news of the phone box spreads, people travel to it from miles around.
Soon Yui makes her own pilgrimage to the phone box, too. But once there she cannot bring herself to speak into the receiver. Then she finds Takeshi, a bereaved husband whose own daughter has stopped talking in the wake of their loss.

What happens next will warm your heart, even when it feels as though it is breaking.

When you’ve lost everything, what can you find . . ?

Participating in the listenalong organised by Tandem Collective was a cathartic experience, especially due to the prompts we discussed. This book led me gently by the hand into the lives of the characters, reflecting on grief with humility, compassion and, at times, humour. The narration was beautifully haunting, so I’m glad I had the opportunity to listen to the book rather than read it.

There are some people who will find the subject matter too difficult to face but those who meet Yui won’t forget her in a hurry. A special thanks to all the lovely bookworms who shared stories and kindness during the listenalong. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.