Before The Coffee Gets Cold
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Would you time travel if you could? Would you visit the past or the future? Would you travel even though you can’t change the past or the future?

These are some questions you’ll likely ponder while reading this story. Even as I write this book review, I’m still thinking about those questions that came to mind while reading the story. In essence, this is a thought-provoking and impactful book.

In this story, we learn about the experiences of four women who chose to time travel. Each have different reasons for choosing to do so, and all are equally touching. Their lives and journeys are unique, but their longing for closure and peace is the same.

How did they time travel? Legend has it that there’s a small café, the Funiculi Funiculi, in Tokyo that can take you to the past or the future. There are various rules that must be followed, but anyone who chooses to can time travel. That is, as long as they’re able to take the one seat at the cafe that serves as the portal to time travel. The most important rule is that the traveler must return from time traveling before the coffee gets cold.

For those willing to time travel in spite of all the rules, their journey gives the reader much to think about. It was specifically the point at which each of the individuals began their time travel journey, that really made me think. Why? Their stories and backgrounds are so poignant and relatable. They’ve each had life experiences similar to what you or someone you know have experienced.

I loved this time travel story, but I specifically loved its message: Focus on the present; you can’t change the past and the future is uncertain. It’s an excellent reminder to value life and those around us each day.

If you’re looking for something quirky and thought-provoking, I hope you’ll give this book a try. This would be a great book to read any time of the year, but this is an especially great time to read it. Its contemplative nature makes the story apropos for this time of year.

This story was written in Japanese and is translated to English by Geoffrey Trousselot. I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Ariana Li, and recommend it.

Have you read this book yet? If not, I’d love to know if you’re planning to read it.