Sunday, December 13, 2020

Before the Coffee Gets Cold (Before the Coffee Gets Cold #1), by Toshikazu Kawaguchi (author), Geoffrey Trousselot (translator)

Hanover Square Press, November 2020 (original publication December 2015)

In Tokyo, there's a little coffee shop, old-fashioned, unpretentious, but with a startling secret. In the Funiculi Funicula café, under the right circumstances, if you follow the rules, you can travel in time.

The rules aren't complex, but they must be followed exactly. You can only time travel in one chair in the café, and you can't get out of that seat while "traveling." That chair is normally occupied by a ghost, and only once a day, when she gets up to use the bathroom, can you sit there and "travel." You can only meet someone in the past who has visited the café.

Oh, and you need to finish your coffee--and return to the present--before the coffee gets cold.

The final catch--nothing you do or say in the past will change the present. So why bother?

The stories here are of people who did bother, for their own reasons, and with different impacts on themselves.

There's very little action here. Everything happens inside the café, with a small cast of characters. Emotions are contained, and only gradually revealed. The big changes here are changes of perspective, seeing the other person's point of view, telling them what you need them to know, rather than being frustrated that they don't guess. It's a gentle, thoughtful look at the world, and at the important relationships in people's lives.


I bought this ebook.

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