Saturday 2 September 2023

Book Review: Before We Say Goodbye by Kawaguchi Toshikazu (Magical Realism)

Title: Before We Say Goodbye
Author: Kawaguchi Toshikazu
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: 12 September 2023
Pages: 192
Format: Paperback
Genre: Magical Realism
Source: ARC from Publisher

The regulars at the magical Cafe Funiculi Funicula are well acquainted with its famous legend and extraordinary, secret menu time travel offering. Many patrons have reunited with old flames, made amends with estranged family, and visited loved ones. But the journey is not without risks and there are rules to follow. Travellers must have visited the cafe previously and most importantly, must return to the present in the time it takes for their coffee to go cold.

In the tradition of Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s sensational 'Before the Coffee Gets Cold' series, readers will once again be introduced to a new set of visitors:

The husband with something important left to say
The woman who couldn’t bid her dog farewell
The woman who couldn’t answer a proposal
The daughter who drove her father away . . .

In the hauntingly beautiful Before We Say Goodbye, Kawaguchi invites us to join his characters as they embark on a journey to revisit one crucial moment in time.


And so we reach the fourth book in the Before the Coffee Gets Cold series with Before We Say Goodbye. Again new customers come into the cafe looking for the chance to return to the past to see a loved one and again there are plenty of tear-jerking and touching moments. I still enjoyed this book; however, part of me wonders if it isn't time for the author to stop. While the individual tales of the customers are new, there's nothing really new to be said in terms of the cafe itself or the general premise anymore, and I feel that if the series continues much longer it's going to become boring. Nonetheless, this is a quick and easy read you could get through in a single sitting, or two at most, and if you are looking for a tale that is part cosy escapism and part emotional drama, this book, like its three predecessors, will tick all the boxes for you. I am giving it 3.5 stars.

I received this book as a free ARC from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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