#bookreview The phonebox at the edge of the world by Laura Imai Messina published by Bonnier Zaffre


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 . . ?

My reading experience:

Firstly I would like to thank the author, publisher and Netgalley for my free ARC.

Yui has lost the very things that root her to the ground; her daughter and her own mother. Grief comes in waves and is marked by the cutting of the blonde dyed hair she stopped colouring after their deaths. The “halo” of blonde is all that is left when a caller to the radio station where she works talks about how he copes with his own loss. Yui is sure that happiness can be a thing, a tangible object that can be reached out for and touched. So our lovely, lost protagonist heads for the hills, to the phonebox at the edge of the world.

I devoured this book in one sitting. Enchanting, luminescent, endearing, glittering, this story is a special evening in the garden under the stars and a midnight sky. Although it is borne from a tale of grief, it is loving, affectionate, inspiring and heartwarming. For a story of grief to be so hopeful is rare and I thoroughly recommend you spend an evening reading this beautiful and majestic book.


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