Amalia Gkavea's Reviews > Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
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‘’The cafe’s name was Funiculi Funicula. It had become famous, with long queues each day, an account of time-travelling. But it wasn’t possible to find anyone who had actually gone back in time, because of the extremely annoying rules that had to be followed. The first rule was: ‘’The only people you can meet while in the past are those who have visited the cafe.’’ This would usually defeat the purpose of going back. Another rule was: ‘’There is nothing you can do while in the past that will change the present.’’ The cafe was asked why that rule existed, but their only comment was that they didn’t know.’’

In a basement, somewhere in a busy neighbourhood in Tokyo, there is a special cafe that will allow you to travel back in time. And in the future under certain circumstances. But it isn’t your run-on-the mill time-travelling. No. You need to follow a set of important rules. You can’t meet any person you want. You cannot alter the present. You have to sit in a particular seat and you must never move from it while in the past. And there is a limit. You must say what you have to say before the coffee gets cold. Or else you will become a ghost in the corner.

So, many would wonder. Why bother to drink the special brew if you can’t alter the present? What’s the use? Well, let’s listen to the stories of the five characters (yes, five, but you need to read the book to discover the fifth…) who travelled back and forth in time to settle their unfinished business.

The Lovers : A young woman falls in love with a young man. So far, so good. But when he decides to accept a job in New York, she realizes that there are certain things that need to be said.

Husband and Wife : A husband who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and a wife who tries to live with the fact that he will soon forget her existence. A letter that needs to find its destination before it’s too late.

The Sisters : Two sisters who loved one another had to go their separate ways when the eldest decided to distance herself from the family business and form her own path. When tragic circumstances arise, travelling in the past and a change of heart may be the only remedy.

Mother and Child : A woman travels to the future to meet her unborn daughter in the most moving moment of the book.

This tender, sensitive novel isn’t about time-travelling as many have come to know it from ridiculous ‘’books’’ that violate all sense of quality. It isn’t about being ‘’married with children as some have stated. It is a story about feelings, about people like you and me, about love and regret and the sadness caused not by the lack of change but by missing the opportunity to unburden your soul. Sometimes you don’t need to change the past or alter the future. Sometimes all you need is to finally say what was left unsaid…

‘’But Kazu still goes on believing that, 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 its purpose.
But with her cool expression, she will just say, ‘Drink the coffee before it gets cold.’’


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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 13, 2020 – Shelved
September 13, 2020 – Shelved as: asia
September 13, 2020 – Shelved as: contemporary
September 13, 2020 – Shelved as: japanese-literature
September 13, 2020 – Shelved as: japan
September 13, 2020 – Shelved as: literary-fiction
September 13, 2020 – Shelved as: magical-realism
September 13, 2020 – Shelved as: world-literature
September 13, 2020 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin Wow! You find some really good sounding books! Excellent review dear 😘


Amalia Gkavea Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ wrote: "Wow! You find some really good sounding books! Excellent review dear 😘"

Thank you so much, dearest Mel!


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin You’re most welcome 😊💕


message 4: by Phrynne (new) - added it

Phrynne Sounds brilliant! Onto my list it goes:)


Amalia Gkavea Phrynne wrote: "Sounds brilliant! Onto my list it goes:)"

Thank you, Phrynne!


message 6: by Angela M (new) - added it

Angela M Fabulous review, Amalia ! I’ve added .


Amalia Gkavea Angela M wrote: "Fabulous review, Amalia ! I’ve added ."

Thamk you, Angela


message 8: by Isidora (new) - added it

Isidora Fantastic review as always, Amalia. It goes on my list.


Amalia Gkavea Isidora wrote: "Fantastic review as always, Amalia. It goes on my list."

Τhank you so much, Isidora!


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