Book Review – Before the coffee gets cold

This book was recently given to me as a Christmas gift. I have been reading it during my holiday in Canberra. I totally enjoyed it. I cried and laughed. It’s quite a heart-warming story about friendship and love between friends, lovers, husband and wife, sisters, and mother and daughter. Highly recommended!

This book was originally written in Japanese by Toshikazu Kawaguchi and translated into English in 2019. It’s a story about a cafe where you can go back in time (and also into the future) but there are MANY rules you have to follow in order to do this. In that sense, most people lose interest and don’t go through with it. But there are a handful of people that do and we meet them in this story. There is the couple Fumiko and Goro; the married couple – the Fusagis; the sisters Harai; and of course the cafe owners Nagare and his wife and their helper Kazu, who I think is the most important character in this book as she is the one that pours the coffee for people that time travel. Yes, it’s about time travel but it’s more about relationships. What would we say to our loved ones if we had another chance?

I also watched the movie based on the same book but the title of the film is called Cafe Funiculi Funicula. The film version is slightly different. The ‘steam’ sensation that people felt in the book progressed to being underwater when transitioning from the present to the past in the film. Nagare didn’t have a wife in the film and the Fusagis swapped character traits. I watched it without English subtitles, which was great as I brushed up on my Japanese again.


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