ARC Review – Tales from the Cafe

Title: Before the Coffee gets Cold : Tales from the Cafe

Author: Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Series: Before the Coffee gets Cold #2

Release Date: 17/9/2020

E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 46
(see below for breakdown)

4.5 stars

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I received a free final copy from the publisher Picador in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

NOTE: This book deals with death, grief, depression and suicidal thoughts. If you are not comfortable with these topics this may not be the book for you.

From Goodreads:

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time…

From the author of Before the Coffee Gets Cold comes a story of four new customers each of whom is hoping to take advantage of Cafe Funiculi Funicula’s time-travelling offer.

Among some faces that will be familiar to readers of Kawaguchi’s previous novel, we will be introduced to:

The man who goes back to see his best friend who died 22 years ago

The son who was unable to attend his own mother’s funeral

The man who travelled to see the girl who he could not marry

The old detective who never gave his wife that gift…

This beautiful, simple tale tells the story of people who must face up to their past, in order to move on with their lives. Kawaguchi once again invites the reader to ask themselves: what would you change if you could travel back in time?

My Thoughts

You can find my review for the first book here

Oh this is so much more heartbreaking than the first book. So many moments that were so beautifully sad. Again, this instalment focuses on various forms of relationship, particularly the feelings of loss and death of a loved one and how one can find happiness again after these events. Continuing 7 years after the first book, the cafe has a new set of customers looking to travel to the past to resolve their heartbreak, bring happiness and share love. There is a soft and sombre tone to the book that is just so calming. It is sweet and sad and beautiful as it explores these different relationships, peoples feelings of loss and guilt of unsaid words. All of with the bittersweet endings like the coffee describe.

It again takes place over a year in the cafe and moves us through the various stories with beautiful descriptions not only of the people and their experiences but of the cafe, the care and attention and love that it puts into caring for its customers, its family and friends. Its just beautifully written, the translation up-holding this keeping a lyrical smoothness to the writing. There is a third which will hopefully get a translation as I have really enjoy these books.

ESCAPE Score

ENDING – 8

STYLE AND PACE OF WRITING – 8

CHARACTERS – 7

ATMOSPHERE AND WORLDBUILDING – 7

PLOT – 8

ENJOYMENT – 8

I would love to chat all things bookish with you! You can comment down below or find me on Twitter or Goodreads!

Happy Reading!

One thought on “ARC Review – Tales from the Cafe

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