Before the Coffee gets cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi – Book Review

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When I read this line at the very beginning of the book, my mind was exploded with possibilities and to think of it, I have a long list of people I would want to meet (some pending slaps, closures, goodbye hugs what not to do) and so I started this book with a hell lot of excitement.

As you would have guessed it by now, the book is about time travel – going back in time or visiting the future – which can have a significant impact on relationships and how does that change the lives of the people who take this risk. One common feature to really observe in these stories is, how we as humans can be so lost in our versions of a relationship that we end up losing the essence of it with time.

It’s a compilation of four stories – The Lovers, Husband and Wife, The Sisters and Mother and Daughter. Each story is at a critical juncture and the author has made the transition seamless by creating links between stories. As you proceed to the next one, you will feel “Oh! so that’s why this happened”. There can be a scene where you feel that this seems like unnecessary detail for this story, be rest assured it will be used in the next one.

I also liked how the author has given you a lot of detailing on the ambiance of the cafe, the dressing of the characters, their movements, and expressions, it just helps you imagine the whole thing very clearly in your mind. What might feel a bit stretched at times is the fact that these details can get repetitive after a point, so you may feel that this could be skimmed through.  I also kept wondering about the “women in white dress” till the end. Like will she ever get back to being a human or she will continue to be the ghost in the cafe? I really wanted the author to like to do something about this lady in particular till the end, but I guess it has been left to our imagination.

Now, did it live up to the excitement, as I mentioned before? It’s mostly a pleasant read and makes you delve into the intricacies of your most cherished relationships. The stories are simple, very day to day, which I think adds to the appeal of the book. You might expect some dramatic developments given the theme of time travel, that I am leaving for you to discover while you read it. So, if you are looking for something sweet to enjoy with your cup of coffee, this book is good to go!!

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