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Before Your Memory Fades by Toshikazu Kawaguchi -a review

before your memory fadesBefore Your Memory Fades by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

The third novel in the international bestselling Before the Coffee Gets Cold series, following four new customers in a cafe where customers can travel back in time.

In northern Japan, overlooking the spectacular view Hakodate Port has to offer, Cafe Donna Donna 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.

From the author of Before the Coffee Gets Cold and Tales from the Cafe comes another story of four new customers, each of whom is hoping to take advantage of the cafe’s time-travelling offer. Among some familiar faces from Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s previous novels, readers will also be introduced to:

A daughter who couldn’t say ‘You’re an idiot.’
A comedian who couldn’t ask ‘Are you happy?’
A younger sister who couldn’t say ‘Sorry.’
A young man who couldn’t say ‘I like you.

Published 30 August 2022  |  Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia  |  RRP: AUD$19.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s  | QBD

My Blurb (5 / 5 stars)

Right now, in front of you in a room that only one person can enter. If you enter it, you will be saved from the end of the world.

If the world were to end tomorrow, which action would you take?

  1. You enter the room.
  2. You don’t enter the room.

I absolutely adore this series of interconnected short stories. Admittedly, the rules around time travel in this book sound absolutely ridiculous and this is acknowledged in the book too. However, it is what it is and you can take it or lump it. Basically, you cannot move from that spot, you have a very short & limited time, and you cannot change the past/future whatever you do/say. So, what’s the point? Well, there is a point as it is illustrated by each story and I will leave you to read them for yourselves 😉

In this third book of the series, the setting changed in location. It is still a cafe owned by a Tokita BUT it is not in Tokyo!! However, we still have most of the staff from earlier books with some new additions. I do recommend that you read them in order as the lives of these people change chronologically in each story. However, each story is really more about the people to took the chance to travel in time. These stories are about their lives and struggles and how/why they made the decision to travel in time despite not being able to effect actual change.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold is a series I’d truly highly recommend even if time travel isn’t your cup of tea coffee. The writing is gracefully poetic and that’s the English translation! This book really made me wish that I can read it in Japanese; it must be 10x more wonderful in its original language. I am a bit of a cry baby so I did pour out buckets of tears as each story unfailingly squeezed my heart and my tear ducts. They are stories of love, hurt, friendship, death, hopelessness, betrayal, and over all that, hope and life itself. Please do yourself a favour and read them.

My thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for gifting me a copy of this book. Thoughts are mine own.

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