When Yui loses her mother an 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 soak 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. But once there she cannot bring herself to speak into the receiver. Then she finds Takeshita, 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?
The Phone Box at the Edge of the World by. Laura Imai Messina
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review.
I loved this book, and I have a feeling it is going to mean a great deal to me. I remember seeing it for the first time on Twitter and knowing I had to have it on my to read list.
The story centralises around 2 main characters, Yui and Takeshita. Yui lost her mother and daughter in the Tsunami, Takeshita lost his wife to illness. They don’t know each other, but cross paths on their way to the Phone Box at Bell Gardia, and their lives intertwine like they never knew they would. It’s a lovely story of friendship, and it warmed my heart so much.
I loved the idea of a phone that let you speak to someone you had lost. If only this was real. Well... I didn’t know until I finished the book and read the extras that the wind phone is actually a real thing, a real place. I googled it, and it looks beautiful. I hope it manages to stay around for a long long time. I love what it stands for, and what it brings to people.
You come to realise that even though its a phone in the book, it could be anything, not necessarily a phone. I’ve had a similar experience of which for years I carried around a lot of regret and guilt surrounding my Grandmas passing, and a dream gave me the much needed comfort shall we say, and helped me move on. The wind phone symbolises that very thing, and is a beautiful thing to have. To see it in person one day would be amazing.
I enjoyed the different way the book is laid out too, each second chapter is very small, sometimes only a couple of lines, but it is about something that is mentioned in the chapter before. Like chapter one is Yui on her radio show. Chapter 2 is a lit of racks played during her show that night. It gave the book a different edge, but a nice one.
The end made me tear up, and I honestly think this book could help a lot of people who are struggling with grief.
I’d love to read more of Lauras work, so I will be on the lookout for a new novel :)