We all have something to tell those we have lost . . .
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 will travel to it from miles around.
Soon Yui will make 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.
For when you’ve lost everything – what can you find . . ?
This book was the best bookish suprise I’d had during lockdown, it was a complete shock and I did one of those squeals of bookish delight! The Phonebox At the Edge of the World by Laura Imai Messina is officially published today by Manilla Press, so happiest of publication days to Laura! You can grab a copy here, or maybe even treat yourself to a stunning signed hardback from Goldsboro here – it’s July Book of the Month!
The Phonebox at the Edge of the World is a fictional novel about loss, grief and hope, that is entangled with an air of fiction – for example, the inclusion of ‘The Wind Phone’ that can be found on a cliff of Japan. People pilgrimage in their thousands as it is believed that the voices of those who speak are carried on the wind to the souls of the lost. Fans of Mitch Albom will absolutely adore this book, I did! When I initially heard about Laura’s novel, I was immediately intrigued with the concept, I knew that I needed to read it. Well, it blew me away, there were tears and there was that warm feeling of hope that embraced me. The Phonebox… is a contains beautiful visualisation, as well as giving the voices of those lost in the March 2011 Tsunami and those that were left behind. Their pain bleeds through this novel, the storyline may be fictional, with fictionalised characters, but at the heart of this story, there is authenticity. The initial information about The Wind Phone, its relation to March 2011, as well as that found in the well placed mini chapters further creates an evocative plotline that will tug your further in by the heartstrings.
The main character is Yui, she has lost everything – her mother and daughter were together when the Tsunami hit, they died together, leaving Yui behind in a world that she feels she no longer belongs. Who is she without them? Yui travels to the Wind Phone because of the urge she has to speak to those she has lost, to share with them the meaningless she feels in a world they no longer exist. We have all sadly felt a type of intense grief, and because of this I was drawn further into the storyline, I identified with Yui and so I felt invested in her story and journey through heartbreak. Laura’s character development was spot on, the connection between them and seeing the personal development was really well done, especially as they were the core emotive foundations. I loved this debut!
Until next time,