On a windy hill in Japan, in a garden overlooking the sea stands a disused phone box. For years, people have travelled to visit the phone box, to pick up the receiver and speak into the wind: to pass their messages to loved ones no longer with us.
When Yui loses her mother and daughter in the tsunami, she is plunged into despair and wonders how she will ever carry on. One day she hears of the phone box, and decides to make her own pilgrimage there, to speak once more to the people she loved the most. But when you have lost everything, the right words can be the hardest thing to find…
Then she meets 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…
If you are familiar with the true story of the phone box, you’re probably already aware that it is absolutely heartbreaking but there is something beautiful about it. I’ve wanted to read The Phone Box at the Edge of the World for a while, so happily took the opportunity to be part of this blog tour.
I didn’t get that far in to the book before I had to take a break. It is impossible to even begin to understand what people went through that day and in the days, weeks, and months following the tsunami. However, I kept reading and I soon became engrossed in Yui’s story.
One of the things I particularly loved was the format of the book. Although broken up into traditional chapters, the chapters themselves were quite short so your experience of Yui’s story keeps moving and has pace. Additionally, Messina has added some chapters as brief snippets of information that relate to the story, and occasionally uses prose or bullet points. This can be a risky strategy but on this occasion it has been done well and keeps the book flowing.
I’d recommend enjoying this book with a warm bath, glass of wine, and maybe a few tissues.
Huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers and Manilla Press for inviting me to be part of this blog tour and providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Support your local bookshop by buying this book through them or through Hive.co.uk.
Will you be reading For The Phone Box at the Edge of the World? Let me know in the comments below.
Wishing you a bookish week,