The Phone Box at the Edge of the World by Laura Imai Messina [Review]


“We all have something to tell those we’ve lost”

Yui lost her mother and daughter in the devastating March 2011 tsunami in Tōhoku, Japan.

Now she is faced with dealing with her crippling grief and learning how to live with it.

She hears about the phone box on the radio she realises she must go to it herself in hopes of trying to heal her broken heart.

That’s where she meets Takeshi, a widowed husband with a daughter who won’t speak after the loss of her mother.

Together, they must work through their pain in order to start living again.


When I first laid eyes on this book, I knew I had to read it. I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but it is beautiful! Then, I read the blurb/summary and I was already invested.

Follow Yui, Takeshi, Hana (Takeshi’s daughter), and many others on their journey through grief. The beauty of this book for me really is that each character has their own deeply personal story of loss, and how they’ve chosen to journey through it.

It filled my heart with warmth when you could see all the character’s lives intertwining together and becoming one big family that is connected by Bell Gardia. Whilst their stories are heartbreaking, their journies are inspiring and heartwarming.

I personally loved that the chapters were shorter and choppier. It made it such an easy book to read that I finished it in a day. Another thing I loved was the additional information about characters in between chapters. For example, like what certain characters said into the phone box. I’d seen some reviews that didn’t like that at all and felt it added nothing to the book, but I felt the opposite about them.

In a way, I feel this book came into my life at a time when I needed to be uplifted and reminded of the fragility and beauty of life. It really had a profound effect on me.

Some may not connect with the book as much because they haven’t experienced the pain of losing someone dear to them. But if you have lost someone close to you, even recently, I highly recommend giving this book a read. There is always hope in times of grief.

I would rate this book 5/5 because it took me out of a difficult place and made me feel ready to keep moving on with life. Also, it was just a really beautiful book that was inspired by true events.

If you enjoyed this review, you’ll want to take a look at my other HERE!


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