Book Review | Before the coffee gets cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Hey everyone,

I am back for a review, I had plans to upload something but my brain got distracted with something pretty and I forgot to post it. It is coming soon, don’t worry. By the time I upload this, I would already be back at work and I am glad that I am doing something other than reading and embroidery, it would be nice to get back to some normality.

Before the coffee gets cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.

In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café’s time-travelling offer, in order to: confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer’s, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.

But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold . . .

Published: December 2015

Published Edition: September 2019

Publishers: Picador

Pages: 213

Genre: Fiction, Magical Realism,

Goodreads Star Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Review

I have had this book on my shelf for a little over a year now and I even have proof of it because the book still has the receipt tucked inside. I have tried other magical realisim books before like David Mitchell and Murakami but somehow I fell in love with this book so quickly.

Firstly, I would like to mention that this has four stories revolving a coffee shop that has a specific chair that can transport you through time. The first person you see is Fumiko, she was in a relationship with her boyfriend for three years until he broke up with her and she couldn’t understand why, which is why she went back to the coffee shop in order to sit in the chair and go back in time.

I liked how the staff give you a list of rules to abide like don’t get off the chair at any point, drink the coffee before it gets cold (very important) and try not to reveal too much of the future because there are consequences to not abiding the rules and you have an example of a female ghost that haunts the chair, she can be a bitch but it is a perfectly good example of what could happen.

There is a detail in this book that I absolutely adore and that is how the temperature of coffee cup getting cold is different from going into the past to going into the furture. The characters going into the past have a very small time frame to intereact with the person and drink the coffee while the other character going into the future has a longer time frame to drink the coffee, I really like how this detail was mentioned in.

I fell in love with this book, to the point where I was crying, and I personally liked each story and the meaning of a second opportunity to see someone that you miss but not only that an opportunity to see someone that you have been desperately wanted to meet.

While magical realism is a genre that I have struggled to read before but somehow this book was so easy to undertand, I think if anyone is interested in the genre I would recommend this book to people.

Happy Reading xx

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