Length: 384 pages
First Published: 2021
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tor Books. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
When the reaper comes to collect him at his own funeral, Wallace Price, a soulless lawyer obsessed with all the wrong things, finds himself taken to a small tea shop tucked into the mountains. Given one week until he needs to pass on, Wallace decides to live as much as he can in the next seven days with the help of the kind tea shop owner.
Many readers are going to love Under the Whispering Door, raving about the profound truths conveyed through wry humor and quirky characters. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. To me, Under the Whispering Door felt like it was trying too hard to be meaningful. The tongue-in-cheek humor just isn’t my style, so I decided not to finish this one. If you liked Fredrik Backman’s Anxious People, you’ll likely love TJ Klune’s September 2021 book releases. Else, I’d skip this one.
A new contemporary fantasy about a ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with.
When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.
Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.
But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.
When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.
By turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, this absorbing tale of grief and hope is told with TJ Klune’s signature warmth, humor, and extraordinary empathy.