Under the Whispering Door is a contemporary fantasy with TJ Klune’s signature “quirk and charm” (PW) 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.
-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.
Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.
“All that work, all that he’d done, the life he’d built. Had it mattered? What had been the point of anything?”
(4 / 5) While this is not officially book 2 to The House in the Cerulean Sea (one of my top 10 of 2020), it still has the same magical feel. It has the cranky man who needed a change and finds it in a place he least expected. Klune is best at making light of the grumpiness and somehow making it endearing. The characters have the best advice, the best outlooks and I know I need a Hugo in my life!
This one started slow, which is similar to Cerulean Sea, but it was easier to forget in that book. In this book, it dragged a bit and I almost lost interest. If his other book hadn’t got 5 stars from me, I doubt I’d have continued. However, I did and I loved it. The characters are endearing and heartwarming and be sure to have your tissues ready!
Klune takes a difficult subject such as death and dying, and he’s able to make it hopeful and beautiful. It’s heartbreaking and healing at the same time. Having dealt with grief and death many times in my life, I found a truth and an admiration for this little story. Some parts were heavy, some were light but it was melded into a story that will have you contemplating your own life.
“It’s easy to let yourself spiral and fall.” “It is,” Nelson agreed. “But it’s what you do to pull yourself out of it that matters most.”
I’m torn about the end. On one hand it was perfect. On the other, it wasn’t. I expected something else, even if it wasn’t the “happiest” ending, but it would’ve felt more real.
Content Summary: Spattered cursing, murder (few details), death, grief, m/m sex but no details,
Thank you to Tor Books for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.
The book releases September 21, 2021.
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