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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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  • Published:
    Mar 2021, 416 pages

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There are currently 24 reader reviews for The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World
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STM

Beautiful and consoling read
The cover and the title drew me in right away. However, I stayed for the story, writing, and inspiration. Beautifully written and evocatively plotted, this book uplifted and consoled me during this time of loss and worry. The writing is lyrical and pulls you into the story. I highly recommend it.
toni b

The fragility of life helps to write your story
Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of "The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World" by Laura Imai Messina which is a fictional tale based on the real Wind phone in Japan.
" ... life decays, countless cracks form over time. But it was those very cracks, the fragility that determined a person's story: that made them want to keep going, to find what happens next" . To me this is the heart of the story. We meet Yui who loses both her mother and daughter in the 2001 tsunami that struck Japan. It explores the universal feeling of loss and the heart-rending grief that follows a loss. However , it also explores how different people handle that grief and how they choose to go forward , or not, in their continued existence. It is a story in the most part of great hope, resilience and love . We meet many people in the book who choose to visit the wind phone as a way to cope with their loss. People visit the beautiful gardens by the sea and enter a phone booth where they use a phone to send their words, their sorrow, their hopes in to the universe and to their loved ones. The writing is poetic almost to the point of meditative. The characters are memorable. The story is beautiful. It resonated with me on several levels but I do not think that you have to personally experience loss to sense its beauty.
I love that the writer states" that even when we are confronted by the subtractions, the things that life takes from us, we have to open ourselves up to the many additions it can offer too" This is so true yet so difficult at times to do in our lives. I love how even if you have a before and an after, there are things that may happen in both timeframes. Those experiences are different yet similar but you can enjoy equally the richness of each experience in their time. I believe this tender novel/love story can be enjoyed by many and would make a wonderful addition to the "Book Club Shelf. There are many situations and even characters in the book that would instigate a discussion.
I enjoyed learning more about Japan and Japanese culture. I appreciated the appendix at the back of book to identify and explain the Japanese words and holidays in the book. I also appreciated that the author included in the afterword, a website for those readers who were interested in the real BelGardia and who wished to learn more about it.
Antoinette B

your fragility determines your story
Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of "The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World" by Laura Imai Messina which is a fictional tale based on the real Wind phone in Japan.
" ... life decays, countless cracks form over time. But it was those very cracks, the fragility that determined a person's story: that made them want to keep going, to find what happens next" . To me this is the heart of the story. We meet Yui who loses both her mother and daughter in the 2001 tsunami that struck Japan. It explores the universal feeling of loss and the heart-rending grief that follows a loss. However , it also explores how different people handle that grief and how they choose to go forward , or not, in their continued existence. It is a story in the most part of great hope, resilience and love . We meet many people in the book who choose to visit the wind phone as a way to cope with their loss. People visit the beautiful gardens by the sea and enter a phone booth where they use a phone to send their words, their sorrow, their hopes in to the universe and to their loved ones. The writing is poetic almost to the point of meditative. The characters are memorable. The story is beautiful. It resonated with me on several levels but I do not think that you have to personally experience loss to sense its beauty.
I love that the writer state s"that even when we are confronted by the subtractions, the things that life takes from us, we have to open ourselves up to the many additions it can offer too". This is so true yet so difficult at times to do in our lives. I love how even if you have a before and an after, there are things that may happen in both time-frames. Those experiences are different yet similar but you can enjoy equally the richness of each experience in their time. I believe this tender novel/love story can be enjoyed by many and would make a wonderful addition to the "Book Club Shelf". There are many situations and even characters in the book that would instigate a discussion.
I enjoyed learning more about Japan and Japanese culture. I appreciated the appendix at the back of book to identify and explain the Japanese words and holidays in the book. I also appreciated that the author included in the afterword, a website for those readers who were interested in the real BelGardia and who wished to learn more about it.
Susan W. (Leesburg, VA)

Wonderful
This book presents grief and healing and love in a wonderfully delicious words and imagery. For anyone who has known grief, the wind phone shows a way out of darkness. The storytelling takes the reader on a quiet yet powerful journey. I highly recommend that you take TBE ride.
Jana G. (Houston, TX)

God is the Wind
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It had a lovely ethereal flow. I loved all the characters and the development of each one in their grief and the impact of Bell Gardia had in their healing. A wonderful book!
Mary Anne R. (Towson, MD)

The Phone of the Wind
This is the best novel I've read in a long time. I felt the spiritual message of the story and thought of it more spiritual versus fantasy. From the beginning I was touched by Laura Imai Messina's poetic manner of writing. She developed her characters in a delightful and loving way. I cared about the many characters and wanted the best for them including Tora the cat and,of course, the phone booth.

Yui's story is developed in many dimensions; physically, emotionally and spiritually. This tension propels the story.

I found this a very hopeful novel. In this time of so much tension Yui's story is needed. We need to go to the phone booth and hear the wind.

I can't think of another novel where place is so important to the story. I agree with the author that readers need to go to the bell-gardia website and see the healing place that Sasaki Itaru and his wife have created.
Elyse R.

Wind telephone carries hope
This story is based upon a true story of the wind telephone in Otsuchi, Japan, built by a gentleman upon the loss of his cousin as a way to deal with his grief. The location of this phone booth is a windy piece of land, thereby lifting your words off into the wind. The cover art and the story premise had me from the beginning and I was not disappointed.

This was a very quick read and I very much appreciated the extras thrown in to give more texture to the story, such as the playlist for the radio show, where Yui worked , on the night the gentleman called in to share about this phone booth, or what Yui’s mother and daughter were wearing on the day of the tsunami.

This story is basically about loss and coping, caring for others, finding one’s way out of grief into love and hope again. Dealing with loss is so very personal and having the wonderful phone booth as a healing device was very special for so many of the characters in this story.

This book was exactly what I needed at this time and I do think it will touch so many as we all deal with loss in many ways throughout our lives.
Ed R. (Colorado Springs, CO)

Hope Reigns
I was moved to tears on more than one occasion as I read the phone booth at the edge of the world. I needed the reminder that after the storm, after the wind, after the loss, there is still room for love, room for hope. It's one of those beautiful reads that ended too soon!
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