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The Phone Box at the Edge of the World

author: Laura Imai Messina (2020)
translator: Lucy Rand
date read: 14 September 2023
rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

A gorgeous story about grief and heartbreak, and two people learning to find love again after great tragedy.

The phone box itself is almost mundane, with no special magic or power. When I first saw the title, I wondered if this was a fantasy or sci-fi book – it’s not, and that’s a good thing. Instead, we see very little of the conversations people have inside the phone box, which are largely private.

The book only revolves around a handful of characters – Yui, Takeshi, and Hana. Although we see other people who visit the phone box, we only see them through their eyes. Focusing on just a few characters is a smart move, because it lets us see more of their lives and their feelings.

This reminded me a lot of Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s books, which I adore – grief and sadness but with an ultimately positive message.

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