What readers think of The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

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
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Published:
    Mar 2021, 416 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers
Buy This Book

About this Book


Page 2 of 3
There are currently 24 reader reviews for The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Mary W. (Altadena, CA)

the phone booth at the edge of the world
When the tsunami of March 11, 2011 swept Japan's coast it left behind tremendous grief in the forms of lost lives. The title of this book is what caught my interest immediately. I was not disappointed in choosing and reading this book. It addresses the questions we all have how to deal we our personal grief. But it opens our perspective that there is no one right way to grieve. Relief and a degree of solace is attained for all who trek the mount that has the telephone booth connected to nothing but what the caller says and receives in their conversations with their dear dead loved ones.
Joan R. (Chicago, IL)

A Book for our Pandemic Times
This book tells a gentle and powerful story that is still with me days after finishing it. Set in Japan after the 2011 tsunami, it centers around a real phone booth with an unconnected phone in a Japanese garden. According to an introductory note, every year thousands come to use the phone and speak with those they have lost. The main characters, Yui and Takeshi, each grieving the loss of loved ones, meet at the phone booth and come to know others who are grief-stricken. The book asks fundamental questions: how is it possible to live with joy when everything comes to an end? How can we learn to live with those we loved who have died? The answers suggested by the story are profound, deeply moving and, perhaps most importantly, hopeful. This is a perfect book to read during our current and tragic times.
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.

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.
  • Page
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Beyond the Book:
  Grieving Places

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more

Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Yolk
    by Mary Choi
    Mary H.K. Choi's young adult offering Yolk deftly maintains several plotlines running through the ...
  • Book Jacket: The Blizzard Party
    The Blizzard Party
    by Jack Livings
    It is 1978 and the place is New York City. A massive bacchanalian party is taking place at an Upper ...
  • Book Jacket: The Light of Days
    The Light of Days
    by Judy Batalion
    Renia, Sarah, Zivia, Frumka, Hantze, Tosia, Vladka, Chajka, Gusta, Hela, Bela, Lonka, Tema, Chasia, ...
  • Book Jacket: Hummingbird Salamander
    Hummingbird Salamander
    by Jeff VanderMeer
    In Hummingbird Salamander, Jeff VanderMeer weaves cybersecurity, bioterrorism, wildlife trafficking ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman
    by Julietta Henderson

    A charming, uplifting debut about a mother and her 12-year-old son, an aspiring comedian.

    Reader Reviews
  • Book Jacket

    The Widow Queen
    by Elzbieta Cherezinska

    The epic story of an 11th century Polish queen whose life and name were all but forgotten until now.

    Reader Reviews
Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Miss Austen
by Gill Hornby
A witty, poignant novel about Cassandra Austen and her famous sister, Jane.
Win This Book!
Win The Beauty of Your Face

A New York Times Notable Book of 2020

"Stunning.… A timely family saga with faith and forgiveness at its core."
Marie Claire



Solve this clue:

It's N S O M N

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.