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Summary

Shortlisted for Audio Performer of the Year at the Audio Production Awards, for performance by Yuriri Naka.

We all have something to tell those we have lost....

On a windy hill in Japan, in a garden overlooking the sea stands a disused phone box. For years, people have travelled to visit the phone box, to pick up the receiver and speak into the wind: to pass their messages to loved ones no longer with us.

When Yui loses her mother and daughter in the tsunami, she is plunged into despair and wonders how she will ever carry on. One day she hears of the phone box and decides to make her own pilgrimage there, to speak once more to the people she loved the most. But when you have lost everything, the right words can be the hardest thing to find....

Then she meets Takeshi, a bereaved husband whose own daughter has stopped talking in the wake of their loss. What happens next will warm your heart, even when it feels as though it is breaking.... 

The moving and uplifting international best seller, based on an incredible true story.

©2020 Laura Imai Messina and Lucy Rand (P)2020 Bonnier Books UK

Critic reviews

"Absolutely breathtaking...a story of universal loss and the power of love. It will remain engraved in my heart and mind forever." (Christy Lefteri, Sunday Times best-selling author of The Beekeeper of Aleppo)

"Beautiful. A message of hope for anyone who is lost, frightened or grieving." (Clare Mackintosh, Sunday Times best-selling author of After the End)
  

"Incredibly moving. It will break your heart and soothe your soul." (Stacey Halls, Sunday Times best-selling author of The Familiars)

What listeners say about The Phone Box at the Edge of the World

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a beautiful story

This a beautiful and moving story, I think the narrator was excellent . very moving

3 people found this helpful

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loved this book.

what a lovely narrated story. Very sensitive. It must bring peace to anyone who has lost someone.

3 people found this helpful

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Just beautiful...

Loved this so much, finished listening and just want to start again.
This book will stay with me.

3 people found this helpful

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Poignant

A story based around the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami, although not restricted to that topic. It’s centrepiece is a phone box in a garden that has helped thousands of people with the grief of loss. Second chair is the (fictional) woman whose life has been turned upside down by death. It is both heartbreaking and hopeful. A very thoughtful story.

2 people found this helpful

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Such a pleasure to listen to

Despite getting a bit lost in the back and forth in time, I just loved the language, descriptions and ways to look at life that the book offers. Great narration as well. I wish there were more books this interesting.

1 person found this helpful

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Totally and utterly beautiful

loved every minute of this sad but beautiful story have recommended it again and again

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful ‼️

Loved this book. It is a masterpiece. Well written and describes grieving so well, I know from experience.

1 person found this helpful

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Beautifully written tale of overcoming tragedy.

Such a beautiful tale. Only an inhabitant of a nation that has suffered such a shocking act of nature find true peace and understanding in a simple thing as an empty telephone box.

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Beautiful, Peaceful & Insightful

I wasn't sure at first but the story unfolded and has given me a new understanding of grief, hope and happiness. Beautifully and brilliantly written and read with great empathy and quiet emotion. I am glad I chose the book and persevered when I wasn't sure.

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Too slow pace

I struggled with this book. There was simply some kind of disconnect between me and this book. It's not a bad book, on the contrary, there are some great points, some advice that will make you stop and think about your life. But to me, it was just so slow... There's not really much happening at all.

I do appreciate that I learned a bit more about Japanese culture and I feel I have a deeper understanding of how the 2011 tsunami influenced them.
The concept of the phone box is something unheard of, at least it was to me, so I enjoyed researching more about it and learning.

I think it would be a good read for anyone who's grieving, anyone who lost someone close. But it simply wasn't my cup of tea, or maybe the timing of reading it wasn't right.