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The Phone Box at the Edge of the World Reviews

The Phone Box at the Edge of the World  by Laura Imai Messina

The Phone Box at the Edge of the World

Laura Imai Messina

4.13 out of 5

4 reviews

Imprint: Manilla
Publisher: Manilla
Publication date: 25 Jun 2020
ISBN: 9781786580399

When you have lost everything, what will you find? 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 widower who has an old disused telephone box in his garden.

4 stars out of 5
Patricia Nicol
26 Jul 2020

"a whimsical, moving and uplifting anatomisation of grief"

There Yui meets the widowed Takeshi, whose daughter Hana has been dumbstruck since losing her mother. What unfolds is a whimsical, moving and uplifting anatomisation of grief and the small miraculous moments that persuade people to start looking forward again.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
2 Jul 2020

"a poignant, atmospheric novel"

Sensitively translated, this is a poignant, atmospheric novel dealing with love, coming to terms with loss and the restoration of one’s self.

4 stars out of 5
Melissa Katsoulis
19 Jun 2020

"this is a story about the dogged survival of hope when all else is lost"

It would have been interesting to hear more about how emotional healing works in Japan’s famously formal society, especially coming from an author rooted in the very different Italian tradition, but Yui’s story is too specific to be parsed into a wider cultural landscape. So restrained and unsentimental is this novel that it’s hard to imagine anyone getting terribly upset over it, despite the subject matter. However, its meditative minimalism makes it a striking haiku of the human heart: short, slow and deceptively full.

5 stars out of 5
11 Jun 2020

"perfect poignant read"

After losing her mum and daughter in the tsunami, Yui hears about a telephone box hears about a telephone box where people speak to lost loved ones...