The Phone Box at the Edge of the World, by Laura Imai Messina
15 September 2021
Imagine there were a way to contact your deceased loved ones. To feel you’d conversed with them, and perhaps found some comfort in the wake of their passing. But what might you say if it were possible? If it were as simple as picking up a phone and talking? If you can make your way to the Japanese city of Otsuchi, you might be able to do that.
In a garden there, is an old, disconnected, telephone box, called the phone of the wind. Those grieving the loss of loved one go there to seek solace, and Japan based Italian author Laura Imai Messina’s new novel, The Phone Box at the Edge of the World (published by Allen & Unwin, July 2020) is based on Otsuchi’s phone of the wind.
Yui lost her mother and daughter in the tsunami of 2011. Despite her grief she does what she can to carry on. After hearing about the phone in Otsuchi, she travels there. But she cannot pick up the phone and speak. But there Yui meets Takeshi, whose young daughter stopped talking when his wife died, and the two begin to form a bond.