Review: The Phone Box At The Edge Of The World - Laura Imai Messina

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Title: The Phone Box at the Edge of the World
Author: Laura Imai Messina
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Price: £12.99
Publication date: 25/06/2020

Yui struggles to carry on with everyday life after losing her daughter and mother in a tsunami. One day, she hears of a man who has an old telephone box in his garden where those who have lost loved ones, can communicate with them through the wind and try to come to terms with their grief. Yui sets out to visit the telephone box and meets Takeshi, a bereaved husband whose daughter has stopped talking due to their loss. Their story is one of heartbreak but also full of hope and love which is bound to warm your heart.


Hello lovelies! I am so excited to share my review of 'The Phone Box at the Edge of the World' with you, which is being published today! When I received an email about this book, I was instantly captivated by it. I knew I had to read it, I needed something to connect to and which would bring me comfort this week, as today marks the anniversary of my grandmother's death. The book has certainly helped me, maybe it didn’t make me come to terms with my grief, but it certainly made me look at it in a different way.


‘The Phone Box at the Edge of the World’ has been translated from Italian by Lucy Rand, and usually I'm apprehensive of translated works, sometimes they just don't capture the magic of the story the same way the original work would, but I was pleasantly surprised. The book made me feel a plethora of emotions: heartbreak, joy, hopefulness, just to name a few. The writing is truly beautiful and it just adds to the already distinctive story.


The story of Yui and Takeshi, as well as the Phone Box, is very moving. The book is impossible to put down and the short chapters make it a light read even though it deals with the heartbreaking topic of grief. The character development is heart-warming to follow and although there is plenty of tragedy, there is also plenty of hope. As well as reading about Yui and Takeshi's tragedies, we are introduced to other characters who have been through significant pain.


I gave the book a rating of four stars as the story is wonderful and I’m impressed with Messina’s skill to talk about such a difficult topic in such a light way. I think this story is one which I will think back on and I most certainly recommend that you read it!


The story may be fictional, however, the telephone box that the book is based on is real. Yes, you read that right! You can visit the Wind Telephone in Otsuchi, Japan to contact your lost loved one. To find out the true story of the Wind Phone, go to where you can watch a video about it.


Rating: 4/5

About The Author

  Laura Imai Messina moved to Tokyo at the age of 23 to improve her Japanese. She took a Masters in Literature at the International Christian University of Tokyo and a PhD in Comperative Literature at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.

15 years later, Messina still lives in Japan with her Japanese husband as well as two children, and currently teaches Italian at local universities.

Thank you to Bonnier and Manilla Press for providing me with a copy of this book in return for my honest review.

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