My Rating ~ Five Stars
RELEASE DATE: 21 September 2021
Publisher: Tor Books
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.
Thank you so much to Tor Books for providing me with a copy of this book, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review!
I loved The House in the Cerulean Sea, so I was so excited to be given an ARC for this book and….I think….I loved Under the Whispering Door even more. Wallace is a lawyer, he’s also an asshole. He cares nothing for those around him and his only focus is his job. When he dies suddenly, and discovers only a couple of people at his funeral – none of which even like him, he’s incensed. When he meets his personal reaper, who is there to take him to the place between death and the afterlife, he’s obviously not scared. Wallace doesn’t get scared. He gets mad. And scared.
Hugo is the Ferryman, he prepares those who need it, to make the final journey through the door to the afterlife. Wallace isn’t an easy case, and he’s not too keen to move on. As Wallace and Hugo get to know each other, Wallace starts to realise just how many mistakes he made in life. For the first time, he might even be making some friends.
I loved every character in this story. Hugo, his ‘ghost’ grandad, Nelson, Reaper Mei, ghost dog Apollo and even Wallace himself….after a while. I spent almost the entirety of this book either crying or with a goofy smile plastered on my face. In fact, I cried so many times towards the end that I had to stop reading for a while to gather myself together 😅. There were some beautiful explorations of grief, death and relationships – romantic, familial and friendship. This is the type of book that can remind you, or make you think for the first time, how trivial the inconveniences of life really are. We can be here for such a short time, and the impact we have on the people around us is what matters the most.
Image from my Instagram account