Blog Posts

Blog #1: A Warm Embrace of Time Travel: A Reader’s Review

*This post was written using generative AI*

My Reading Journey

An avid reader growing up, I stopped reading when I got to high school. I didn’t have time, and I was already burnt out from school. Why would I read for fun?

After my sophomore year of college, I decided to change this and get back into reading. Thirty-one books later, and I’d found several books I’d loved, but no five-star reads.

And then I read Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s “Before the Coffee Gets Cold,” and everything changed.

The Novel

In a bustling corner of Tokyo, where time seemingly stands still, a small café holds the key to extraordinary journeys. “Before the Coffee Gets Cold” is a captivating tale that transcends the boundaries of time and space, inviting readers on a heartwarming and poignant exploration of love, regret, and the intricacies of human connection.

Set within the cozy confines of Funiculi Funicula, a quaint café nestled in the heart of Shinjuku, the novel introduces us to a peculiar phenomenon: the opportunity to travel back in time.

The Catch

There’s a catch – patrons can only journey to the past within the confines of the café and must return before their coffee gets cold. Through a series of interconnected stories, Kawaguchi masterfully weaves together narratives that delve into the lives of those who seek solace, closure, or a second chance amidst the ticking of the clock.

At the heart of the novel are the profound emotional journeys undertaken by its characters. From a young woman yearning to reconcile with her estranged sister to an elderly man seeking closure with his departed wife, each story brims with raw authenticity and tender vulnerability.

My Thoughts

What sets “Before the Coffee Gets Cold” apart is its enchanting blend of magical realism and poignant introspection. While the premise of time travel may seem fantastical, the novel’s focus remains firmly grounded in the human experience. Through each carefully crafted narrative, Kawaguchi imparts timeless lessons about the nature of regret, forgiveness, and the fleeting nature of time itself.

Moreover, the evocative setting of Funiculi Funicula serves as more than just a backdrop – it’s a character in its own right, imbued with a sense of nostalgia and longing. As patrons come and go, leaving behind fragments of their stories, the café becomes a sanctuary where the boundaries between past and present blur, offering solace to those who seek it.

“Before the Coffee Gets Cold” is a poignant and introspective journey that lingers long after the final page is turned. Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s exquisite storytelling transports readers to a realm where time is both a gift and a burden, reminding us of the precious moments we often take for granted.

The next time you find yourself in need of a moment of reflection, why not step into Funiculi Funicula, order a cup of coffee, and embark on a journey through time? Who knows what revelations may await before the coffee gets cold.

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