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

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

Page 3 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!

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.
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)

4.5
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.
Power Reviewer
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.
  • Page
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Beyond the Book:
  Grieving Places

One-Month Free

Discover books that
entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Women of Chateau Lafayette
    The Women of Chateau Lafayette
    by Stephanie Dray
    The Women of Chateau Lafayette, Stephanie Dray's latest work of historical fiction, revolves around ...
  • Book Jacket: Windhall
    Windhall
    by Ava Barry
    Ava Barry's debut mystery novel Windhall is centered around the salacious murder of a starlet named ...
  • Book Jacket: Libertie
    Libertie
    by Kaitlyn Greenidge
    Kaitlyn Greenidge burst onto the literary scene in 2016 with her award-winning novel, We Love You, ...
  • Book Jacket
    Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982
    by Cho Nam-joo, Jamie Chang
    'Kim Jiyoung is thirty-three years old, thirty-four Korean age. She got married three years ago and ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Raft of Stars
    by Andrew J. Graff

    A timeless story of loss, hope, and adventure set against the vividly rendered landscape of the Upper Midwest.

    Reader Reviews
  • Book Jacket

    Of Women and Salt
    by Gabriela Garcia

    A kaleidoscopic portrait of generations of women from a 19th-century Cuban cigar factory to the present day.

    Reader Reviews
Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Survivors
by Jane Harper
Even the deepest secrets rise to the surface in this thrilling mystery from New York Times bestselling author Jane Harper.
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

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

It's N S O M N

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & 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.