Read advance reader review of The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World by Laura Imai Messina, page 2 of 3

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The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World

A Novel

by Laura Imai Messina

The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World by Laura Imai  Messina X
The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World by Laura Imai  Messina
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2021, 416 pages

    Oct 2022, 416 pages


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There are currently 21 member reviews
for The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World
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  • Frances I. (Ludington, MI)
    In search of a phone booth....
    As each human processes a loss of a beloved person, Grief changes its face. One can feel sadness, anger, pain, denial, and even fear, culminating, hopefully, in acceptance. In Laura Imai Messina's novel  "the phone booth at the edge of the world,"  main character Yui struggles with her own losses, and her seemingly unending grief. She is not alone, however, as others she meets have their own personal, yet similar, journeys to walk. In heartfelt, unique chapters, Messina creates characters who sensitively display how feelings of loss are encountered, dealt with, and shared. Moreover, Ms Messina shows how death and grief can lead to acceptance and hope. 
    More so now, I wish I could find a phone booth....
  • Windell H. (Rock Hill, SC)
    The Wind Phone
    Great book! I read this book in a very short time. A great story of recent history. I was captured by how human this story was. From tragedy to hope it carries you on a journey of the human soul. It shows how grief is a personal thing for each one of us. The characters are nondescript but each one carries a different message of hope and dealing with everyday life through tragic events. A very touching story of love, companionship, community and the power of the human spirit. This would definitely be a great book for book clubs.
  • Susanna K. (Willow Street, PA)
    This book is beautifully written! It's easy for the reader to become immersed in the deep feelings and concerns of the many who made the journey to Bell Gardia where there was a telephone booth on a very windy mountain. It was believed that by talking on the phone, the wind would carry your words to their loved ones lost in the Tsunami or in the case of some- just to argue. Yui who lost her mother and daughter met Takeshi whose wife had died. Through her grief yet her love for him and his small daughter she began to live for the future and not live in the past. I loved it!
  • Jane B. (Chicago, IL)
    Beautiful hopeful story
    This is a story about one man's very inventive idea of providing a "wind phone" to reach lost loved ones. Yurt and Takeshita were two people who benefited from this phone booth at the edge of the world. Both characters were able to find "the joy that resides within unhappiness" and pass on that knowledge to those around them. It is a simple story, well written and satisfying.
  • Gloria
    A message of hope
    Anyone who has ever experienced loss (and that's most of us), will be moved by Laura Imai Messina's beautiful "The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World." What makes this novel about dealing with grief most amazing is that the phone booth at the center of the story actually exists, and that thousands of people every year pick up the "wind" phone to speak to their deceased loved ones. Messina's characters are kind and gentle as they try to come to terms with their loss and move on to laugh and love again. It filled me with hope. A book for this season.
  • Karen S. (Allston, MA)
    Spare writing that goes straight to the heart
    This book was a gentle and irresistible invitation for me to inhabit the world of two very likeable Japanese adults who are grieving their losses from the 2011 tsunami. This author conveys their pain without insisting that the reader feel horrible, and allows us to root for the magic of the phone booth at the end of the world.
    I appreciated that the book focused on Yui and Takeshi, without straying too far into the lives of the people closest to them. For me, this provided a clean and simpler focus that enhanced the story and inner lives of Yui and Takeshi.
    This is not a story about a tsunami and the country it ravaged, it is really the story of grieving individuals, stumbling toward hope and supported by a unique and spiritual place.
  • Theresa M. (Murphysboro, IL)
    A Pilgrimage of Healing
    Laura Imai Messina starts off her book, The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World, stating that there is a real telephone booth in a garden somewhere in Japan with a disconnected telephone. Every year thousands of people make pilgrimages there to talk to their loved ones who have died.
    Before I speak more about the book, I want to say that I am someone who has lived through the loss of a loved one and my review of this book comes from that perspective. With that being said, I enjoyed the variety of characters and the different ways each had of coming to terms with the loss of their loved ones. The characters were believable and memorable and I loved how their stories intertwined to form a beautiful tapestry of healing and hope.
    One thing that confused me was when the story unexpectedly jumped from past to present to future. It may be the author had a reason for doing this but I found it disorienting. The time jumps did not take away from my enjoyment of the story however, and by the end of the book, I wanted to jump on a plane and go to Japan to search for the telephone booth myself.
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