Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
Publisher: Hanover Square
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
English translation from Japanese
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

If you could go back, who would you want to meet?In a small back alley of Tokyo, there is a café that has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. Local legend says that this shop offers something else besides coffee—the chance to travel back in time.

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Heartwarming, wistful, mysterious and delightfully quirky, Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s internationally bestselling novel explores the age-old question: What would you change if you could travel back in time?

Have you ever wished you could go back and fix a regret, change something you said or did not say to someone? In this tale set in a tiny, cozy café in Japan, people have that chance, but they only have a few minutes to get their point across: until their coffee gets cold.

There are several difficult conditions though; and a ghost who does not like to move from the one seat you must be sitting in to travel time. One of the conditions says that no matter what you do while traveling time, the present will not change. So, is it worth it to go back if you can’t change the present? And if so, why?

This tale is about different types of relationships, lovers, husband and wife, mother and daughter, and sisters. Each relationship has its own challenges and regrets. For example, a wife has to deal with her husband forgetting they are married, due to illness. What could she possibly say to him in the past, when he still remembers her, that could have meaning in the present?

The book is filled with many little descriptive details, which have the effect of creating memorable characters. The story has a paranormal feel and will evoke many tender emotions. Readers will be surprised at the outcome of each of these stories. I recommend this book.

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