Ever since I read The House in the Cerulean Sea I’ve been anxiously awaiting for Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune to release. Another stunning cover and a story that sounded like it would be emotional, but amazing. I recently finished reading this book and today I want to tell you about the book and what I thought. Keep on reading to find out more!
When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.
Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.
But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.
When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.
Under the Whispering Door is a contemporary fantasy about a ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with.
“Wasn’t that the point? Wasn’t that the great answer to the mystery of life? To make the most of what you have while you have it, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly.”
Under the Whispering Door is mainly focused on death and what comes after. Please be aware that this is an emotional book and not always easy to read. Also, if you’re looking for an action packed book this one won’t be for you, because it’s character driven. That worked really well for this story though and it has many beautiful moments.
Wallace is our main character and the book mostly focuses on him. He’s not a good person. Wallace is very self-centered and only thinks of himself. Thinking of anyone else isn’t something he typically does. Wallace dies and isn’t exactly ready to be dead. With the cast of characters Wallace is with after death he slowly starts thinking about his life. How he didn’t really live and may not have had the life that made him happy. It may take him dying for him to figure out what’s important in life and what love means.
Speaking of the cast of characters that guide Wallace, I felt that they were maybe the most important part of this book. It’s clearly a found family and they all work together and keep each other safe. Hugo has suffered some tragedy in his life, but is determined to help others as a ferryman. Even if this means his life is stuck at the tea shop. Mei is the reaper who has also had her own difficulties, but who wants to help others pass and find their next step in life. Nelson, Hugo’s grandfather, is hard on the outside, but he truly has a heart of gold. And last but not least, Hugo’s dog Apollo really made this story even more beautiful.
Under the Whispering Door is a story full of grief, love, acceptance, loss, and family. This book definitely hit me in all the feels and even brought tears to my eyes. That being said there are also many lighthearted moments that had me laughing out loud. It’s also a book that really makes you think about all the important things in your own life. I’ll definitely be revisiting Under the Whispering Door in the future.
TJ Klune is now officially an auto-buy author for me! I’m determined to read all of his backlist as well. Have you read any of Klune’s books? If you have, let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear what you thought.