Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune – Review

Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune
Series: N/A
Publisher: Tor
Published September 21st 2021
Genres: Fantasy, LGBTQ+, Fiction
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

Under the Whispering Door is a contemporary fantasy with TJ Klune’s signature “quirk and charm” (PW) about a ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with.

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.

By turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, this absorbing tale of grief and hope is told with TJ Klune’s signature warmth, humor, and extraordinary empathy. 

This follows Wallace Price, a bit of a scrooge that manages a big law company. He dies shortly after the beginning of the book.

Then he is dead and the story follows his ghost in what could be described as the last station before the afterlife. He meets Hugo the ferryman, who is responsible for helping these souls cross, and the reaper Mei – and then we have Nelson and Apollo, who are souls that haven’t crossed yet.

My main problem with this book was the pace. It was very slow overall. But it does have that edge that only TJ Klune can create, just like with the first one. It’s a mix of soft-hearted and supposedly unlikable characters. It just makes you care and root for them. Also, it’s incredibly funny even tho it tackles a ton of important topics like suicide, mental health – anxiety, depression.

The idea of the book is definitely interesting and the more I read the more invested I got. I started getting griped at about half way. It has so many smile-worthy moments! It’s unexacting funny, although raw and touching. There’s so much to this book! Even tho, I did like The House in the Cerulean Sea better than this one…

As for our mc Wallace aka scrooge, I did enjoy reading about him and seeing him adapt to his new life. It was funny and heart-warming and just what I expected from the author! Overall the characters were interesting and you gotta love Apollo the dog too. We got to see that Wallace can be quite unlikable, actually he can be awful and rude and all manners of bad, but he learns a lot during a short time and I learned to love him. As I said… Klune just knows how to draw characters…. But my favourite character has to be granddad – Nelson! HE is freaking awesome and funny as hell! I loved him from his first appearance and he totally gave life to the book!

This story is all about processing death and life and makes you want to act more, live with no regrets and gives you hope that life might end with a new beginning. It deals a lot with death, including suicide, so read with caution!

What did you think of it? Have you read it? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune – Review

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