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REVIEW: Before The Coffee Gets Cold

“The present hadn’t changed – but those who had sat in the chair had.”

Why Did I Read This Book?

I’ve been wanting to read some translated fiction for quite some time now and you may have even read my post all about translated fiction on my bookshelf! So after finishing all the books on my monthly TBR ( read that right!), I thought it was about time to start ticking some of these books off! 

I chose this one first as it has a sequel that has recently been published and well…the book is beautiful! It’s also quite short too, so an easy and quick read to finish off my month.

What Did I Think?

I have to say that I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. I read the first chapter and I was slightly confused with who was who and remembering the characters’ backstories. Yet, I think it was by the end of the first chapter that I fell in love with the story and its characters. Everything that happened after this just made me fall more and more in love. 

“From now on – what about the future?”
“Well, as the future hasn’t happened yet, I guess that’s up to you…”

Looking back, I’m not sure which story I enjoyed the most. They were all heartbreaking but lovely in their own special way and I’m so surprised I didn’t break down in floods of tears whilst reading! 

If you are unaware of what this story is about, it is about a magical cafe in Tokyo that offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time. There is a certain set of rules with this cafe though in order to travel in time safely, with the most important one being you must drink the coffee before it gets cold if you want to return to the present. 

The stories include a woman confronting the man who left her, a wife receiving a letter from her husband whose memory has been taken by early-onset Alzheimer’s, a waitress’ wish to see their sister one last time and for a pregnant woman to meet the daughter she never got the chance to know. All heartbreaking but all utterly heart-warming at the same time.

“No matter what difficulties people face, they will always have the strength to overcome them. It just takes heart. And if the chair can change someone’s heart, it clearly has a purpose.”

I truly adored this book and it left me questioning if I had the chance, would I time-travel? I’m also kind of hoping that someone opens a replica cafe in Tokyo to celebrate the book! All that’s left to mention is if you could travel back in time, would you?

Before The Coffee Gets Cold

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Published: 2019
Publisher: Picador
# of Pages: 213
Genre: Translated Fiction, Fantasy
Trigger Warnings: Death, dementia, Alzheimer’s, pregnancy complications, family disputes, car crash, depression 
Links: Goodreads, Amazon, Blackwells


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