So I just read Under the Whispering door by TJ Kluns and…
This is the first time I’ve ever cried at a book. And it wasn’t just a few tears, I fully wheeped. I finished the book at about one in the morning and I gave myself an emotional headache, it was phenomenal in every way and I definitely think this is one of my favourite books of all time.
When Wallace Price died he expected his life to end, to pass onto whatever comes next… he didn’t expect to wake up at his own funeral, to meet a young woman who introduced herself as his grim reaper, to be taken to meet the Ferryman names Hugo who is tasked to help him cross over in who owns a tea shop. 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.
I love TJ Kluns so much, I did a review for The House in the Cerulean Sea at the end of last year where I had nothing but good things to say, so when I saw that this book was coming out I got super excited. Klune is one of them authors where I would pick up one of his books without bothering to find out what it’s about but I know I’m going to have an awesome time and both of these books have proven this.
Under the Whispering Door was a beautifully written book, very character driven but still with a good story to back it up. Hugo, the ferryman and the man in charge of helping Wallace carry over to the afterlife, is such an amazing character and definitely my favourite. He truly just wants to help the people who had been brought to him and are truly scared and he does it in so many small but beautiful ways, the way he talks about tea is wonderful and it’s very metaphorical for life.
Wallace is also a really nicely rounded out character, when I’ve told people about this book I’ve always compared Wallace to Scrooge. He has that same feeling, a man with no heart who learns his lesson, but he’s so wonderful. To see him grow as a character and not only come to terms with himself but to understand how he can help people around him, it’s so beautiful and the best character development I’ve ever seen.
The story is really interesting too, very nicely paced with plenty of down time. When I read books like this I really like the slice of life stuff in between the action, domestic fluff is my jam. But there’s still plenty of drama to keep you going if you prefer that, between Hugo and Wallace as well as outside characters that come in through the story, each one written well and being well rounded characters.
This book is phenomenal and I highly recommend you pick it up. I know I’ve talked about how sad it is but it has so many feel good moments and is such a found family novel. It was a really good way to start the year.
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