Book Reviews

Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

TJ Klune is a one-of-a-kind author. I fell in love with The House in the Cerulean Sea last year, and then was lucky enough to get a copy of Under the Whispering Door from our holiday book exchange! P.S. I also have an advanced reader copy of his next book In the Lives of Puppets (Publishes April 25, 2023), so stay tuned for that one!

The Story

Welcome to Charon’s Crossing.
The tea is hot, the scones are fresh, and the dead are just passing through.

When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead.

And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he’s definitely dead.

But even in death he’s not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

Hilarious, haunting, and kind, Under the Whispering Door is an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home.

My Thoughts

Under the Whispering Door was beautiful, but I do think that The House in the Cerulean Sea was better. This one felt a little slow in parts, like it was unnecessarily long. Also, somehow, people living on as ghosts was less believable than an island with a bunch of creatures.

One thing I did appreciate was that Under the Whispering Door was a bit funnier! When you’re reading a book as emotional and beautiful as this one, with such a heavy storyline, a little bit of laughter is delightful.

The concept of the afterlife is a heavy one, yet one that’s universal regardless of religion. TJ Klune took this concept to such an easily accessible place. The opportunity to continue to make a difference…it’s something that can inspire a lot of hope.

Favorite Quotes & Passages

One thing I’ve started doing more is “book tabbing”! I won’t write in a book, but the page flags are just amazing for this. As a result, I can go back and share my favorite passages. Plus, there’s a little bit of me if I ever share these books with people in my life.

“If we worry about the little things all the time, we run the risk of missing the bigger things.”

Under the Whispering Door, Page 39

“You’re just not hearing what you want to hear. I know it might be hard to understand, but not everything is about you, Wallace. You have your own story. She has hers. If you’re meant to know what it is, you will.”

Under the Whispering Door, Page 105

“But as long as we’re together, we can help each other until the end. Our strength will be your strength. We won’t carry you because you don’t need us to. But we’ll be by your side.”

Under the Whispering Door, Page 282

“It’s never enough, is it? Time. We always think we have so much of it, but when it really counts, we don’t have enough at all.”

Wallace shrugged as Apollo pranced around the tea plants. “Then we make the most of it.”

Under the Whispering Door, Page 299

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