#Blogtour The Phone Box At The End Of The World @LalmaiMessina @manilla_press @Tr4cyF3nt0n #CompulsiveReaders #ThePhoneBoxAtTheEndOfTheWorld

The Phone Box At The End Of The World by Laura Imai Messina Manilla Press

The Blurb

A sweeping, moving novel based on an incredible true story.

Picture an old disused telephone box in a beautiful garden, not found easily.

When Yui loses her mother and daughter in a 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 travel there from miles around.

Soon Yui makes 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 like it is breaking.

When you’ve lost everything – what can you find?

My Review

The Phone Box At The End Of The World should come with the warning, ‘once started you can’t stop’. I read it in one sitting totally lost in the story of Yuki, a young women who had lost her mother and daughter in the Japanese Tsunami of 2011. How do you recover or even carry on with life after something so traumatic, I know for me life would become that impossible thing, one that you had to endure.

I had prepared myself for a novel that would be quite dark, full of despair but was pleasantly surprised with the lightness Messina managed to infuse within her narrative. Yes there were moments that were upsetting particularly in the aftermath of the Tsunami as Yuki waited for news, news that you knew would not be good, and when it came the way in which Messina described it was for me heartbreaking but endearing and comforting.

At the heart of the novel was a phone box, a phone connected to nothing, that was a magnet to all those who had lost someone, a place they could talk to that person. There was no ridicule, no judgement just a garden, a phone box and its owner that offered comfort, a place to leave sorrow, to talk to those who understood.

Its healing powers were immense as Yuki found out, but it also brought her into contact with Takeshi, a widower, a father of a young girl who remained mute, unable to express her thoughts and feelings. Their connection, relationship was touchingly beautiful as Messina explored their grief, the many ways we experience that grief, an individual process that meant different things to different people. It somehow drew me in and wouldn’t let me go, I so desperately wanted that fairytale love affair but Messina didn’t make my reading experience easy with multiple bumps in the road, and a heart stopping finale.

The Phone Box At The End Of The World was a wonderful contradiction, a simple story on the surface until Messina made her characters explore their feelings, their emotions, complex, multi layered yet full of wonderful hope and enlightenment and I loved it.

I would like to thank Manilla Press for a copy of The Phone Box At The End Of The Road to read and review and Compulsive Readers for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

Laura Imai Messina was born in Rome, Italy but has been living in Japan for the last 15 years. She works between Tokyo and Kamakura, where she lives with her Japanese husband and two children. She took a Master’s in Literature at the International Christian University of Tokyo and a PhD in Comparative Literature at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. The Phone Box at the Edge of the World has been sold in over 21 territories.
Laura can be found on Twitter at @LaImaiMessina and on Instagram at @LauraImaiMessina, or on her website www.lauraimaimessina.com.

Lucy Rand (Translator): Lucy Rand is a teacher, editor and translator from Norfolk, UK. She has been living in the countryside of Oita in south-west Japan for three years.

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