Karen from the library's Bath Branch recently enjoyed Under the Whispering Door, a contemporary low-fantasy novel that features author TJ Klune's signature quirk and charm. Read her review below:

Wallace Price is a 40 year old bi-sexual, hugely successful lawyer, but with no human connection – he’s divorced, and ruthless in all his dealings with opponents, clients, and staff.  Then one day he dies of a massive heart attack, alone in his office.  Wallace is confused about what’s going on until he finds himself at his own funeral, where there’s no one to mourn him.  He’s surprised to find one woman he doesn’t recognize at his funeral who apparently can see and hear him … Mei, a reaper on her first solo job.  That job being to take him to a ferryman, who will ease his transition to the next world.  Wallace is even more surprised to find that where she takes him is a tea shop named Charon’s Crossing, run by the ferryman, Hugo, who is gay, black, and 30 – and very much alive.

There is a quote hanging on the wall of the tea shop: “The first time you share tea, you are a stranger. The second time you share tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share tea, you become family.”  Over the time Wallace spends at the tea shop, he will learn a lot about himself, his feelings, putting others before yourself, and ultimately becoming family.

The book is a wonderful exploration of various stories of death and grief, but although it will bring you to tears at times, it’s ultimately uplifting, and hopeful.  By turns heartwarming, heartbreaking, humorous, and even hilarious (there’s a part where the ghosts at the tea shop band together to chase out a fake psychic that had me laughing out loud in the car!).  I picked it up based on the cover and description, but was surprised to love it quite as much as I did!  An enthusiastic 5 stars.

Reserve Under the Whispering Door by clicking here