Published by: Picador
Date released: 19/09/2019
Date read: 11/05/2020
In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.
In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café’s time-travelling offer, in order to: confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer’s, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.
But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold.
I love reading books from other countries as I find each country has its own way of writing, of telling a story. The only negative I find, is a translated book sometimes misses out on the author’s original meaning. It’s difficult to tell with this book if that’s the case, but I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway.
Kawaguchi’s book is beautiful and moving and inspiring. You can see yourself in every customer that goes in there, desperate for an answer lurking in the past.
It’s a question often pondered: if you could travel back in time, when would you go?