Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune_ Book Review

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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.

Under the Whispering Door is a contemporary fantasy about a ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with.

[I received a digital arc for an honest review]

I wish I could give this 5 million stars because simply 5 stars doesn’t do justice with how much I loved this book. Under the Whispering Door is heartbreaking and beautiful.

The first time you share tea, you are a stranger.
The second time you share tea, you are an honored guest.
The third time you share tea, you become family.

This is the story of Wallace Price. He’s the kind of man no one mourns for when he dies, hard and unkind. Before he can go to the afterlife he is lead to a pit stop of sorts, in the form of a tea shop by a reaper. Here he has to accept his own death and ready himself to move on by the help of the ferryman, Hugo. Wallace struggles at first with being dead and the longer he stays at the tea shop the more he changes and becomes a better person/ ghost. He finds a place among the ghosts, the reaper, and the ferryman. He finds a purpose, but the tea shop is not meant to be permanent and in the end will have to make a hard decision.

“Wasn’t that the great answer to the mystery of life? To make the most of what you have while you have it, the good and the bad the beautiful and the ugly. In death Wallace has never felt more alive.”

Under the Whispering Door
 is a very heavy, emotional read. It deals with death, ones own death, the afterlife and beyond. Grief for those who have passed and for those who are left behind. It shows sudden death, violent death, and suicide. The way one dies affects their transition and acceptance into the afterlife. All of that makes a gloomy story but through the despair Klune weaves his brand of humor and hope that will put smiles on your face along the way. He does this through the characters. Wallace even though unlikable at first grows on you. Hugo is wise, patient, and quirky. His grandfather’s ghost Nelson is spunky and mischievous. Reaper Mei is sarcastic and gives the best hugs. And you’ll fall in love with the lovable ghost pup Apollo.

“Get it? Liven? It’s funny because you’re not alive. Oh, wordplay. How I adore you.”

As you can imagine by the subject of the novel it is an emotional read. I held up pretty well managing not to cry until 60 % then pulling it back together but 70/75% on just cue the waterworks. Scene after scene of heartache and eventually happiness but that then caused the happy tears. I was a blubbering mess and I loved every moment of the experience.

TJ Klune has created another diverse found family that you won’t be able to forget. Under the Whispering Door without a doubt will be a book I recommend forever and always.

—Written by Amanda—

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