Book review: The Phone Box at the Edge of the World

By Laura Imai Messina
Translated from the Italian by Lucy Rand
Published by Manilla Press

Synopsis: 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.

How did this book end up in my hands? I read this novel twice. Once in Italian (original title: Quel che affidiamo al vento) and once in its English translation. The English version of the book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion and I am super grateful for the opportunity.

Was it a page-turner? I wanted to finish the book in one breath and I wanted it to last forever, all the same time. To be honest, I couldn’t have finished it in one sitting and kept my heart more or less intact. It’s a novel that requires time and time it should be granted.

Did the book meet my expectations? I had an inkling that I would like it. I loved it. It broke my heart but I forgave it. Twice!

Three words to describe it. Poetic. Inspiring. Moving.

Do I like the cover? I probably prefer the Italian cover as it’s more subtle but I like them both. Simple and effective.

Have I read any other books by the same author? No, but I’ve added all of her books to my wish list. Plus, I’ve become addicted to her blog, Giappone Mon Amour (in Italian), and her Instagram account (also in Italian). 

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