Read advance reader review of The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World by Laura Imai Messina, page 3 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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Page 3 of 3
There are currently 21 member reviews
for The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World
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  • Marganna K. (Edmonds, WA)
    A Phone Booth We Could All Use
    The author does a commendable job telling this story of grief, loss, love & hope. It revolves around the Japanese March 2011 tsunami, a disconnected phone - the Wind Phone - in a dilapidated hillside phone booth & two major characters, Yui & Takeshi.
    It's a story of profound loss & grief told in a clean & lightly handled storytelling arc. Although there are other characters who meet in the Bell Gardia where the phone booth is, the story development stays mainly on the two main characters allowing the reader to learn many aspects of Japanese culture, food, communication...
    At first I missed a heavier hand telling the story of the tragic event & it's effect on those grieving, but soon learned to appreciate the structure. Loss & grief are definitely themes of the story but soon love & hope find a way into hearts.
    A quick read of this book would be beneficial - there are many thought-provoking messages lost in a slow read.
    I would recommend this book to friends & also offer it as a bookclub suggestion.
  • Andrea B.
    The Mourning After
    On March 11, 2011, Japan suffered a natural catastrophe that wreaked havoc throughout its communities. The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World is an uplifting tale that not only describes the event's monstrous ferocity and vicious cruelty but also examines the toll that senseless and unexpected loss can exact upon survivors.

    I enjoyed this work because it offered a great deal more than just a fictional narrative involving the Otsuchi wind phone. It also permitted a glimpse into modern Japanese culture and demonstrated the extremes of nature's potential. Most importantly, however, it reminded me to acknowledge and respect the elementary math of living — its addition and its subtraction.
  • Nicole S. (St. Paul, MN)
    Beautiful prose
    The writing creates a sense of sparseness. You get a sense that each word was carefully selected to carry the most weight it can. Though the backdrop is deep and troubling loss, this is ultimately a story about life and wonder. As we each must grapple deep questions about love and loss, grief and healing- this book offers a light and a path. It does not claim to solve those questions, only to widen our hearts and minds to look at the may ways we heal.
  • Karen W. (Atlanta, GA)
    Pleasant novel about grief
    How far would you go to talk to a person you lost to sudden tragedy? Evidently some would go far. This book references the actual phone booth (non-functioning) where survivors go to communicate with the departed. The varied stories of the grievers provide an interesting backdrop to two particular characters who meet and edge forward into recovering joy in their lives. The book is not depressing, but sometimes whimsical, and ultimately hopeful. Many details of daily life in Japan add interest, and the final dramatic events draw the numerous characters together, but be aware that the pace is slow. Overall a worthwhile read.
  • Catharine L. (Petoskey, MI)
    A wonderful book. I loved the concept - a phone booth with a wind phone placed in a lovely garden. A book of grief and despair, but mostly of hope. Although tragedy is a part of these characters, they accept it, help each other, and learn to love again.
  • Donna W. (Wauwatosa, WI)
    At The Edge of the Haight
    There was beautiful language and lovely thoughts and messages throughout the book. The 2 main characters dealing with grief was sensitively handled, and the road to the joy and happiness that was to come was quite believable.

    For me though, the timeline was off. In parts it felt rushed, and in other parts things seemed to go very slowly. This left me with a feeling of unevenness. On the whole it was a difficult topic well handled, and worth the read.
  • Justina E. (Chula Vista, CA)
    The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World
    The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World is an exploration on grief and love. The lyrical prose was excellent. As I was reading this book, I was transported into the main character's grief. I felt what the character was feeling and was unable to stop reading this book. It was sad, but uplifting at the same time. I highly recommend this book.
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Beyond the Book:
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