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The Phone Box at the Edge of the World

English · Paperback

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*A moving, unforgettable story, inspired by true events*

'Absolutely breathtaking' Christy Lefteri, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Beekeeper of Aleppo.

We all have something to tell those we have lost . . .

On a windy hill in Japan, in a garden overlooking the sea stands a disused phone box. For years, people have travelled to visit the phone box, to pick up the receiver and speak into the wind: to pass their messages to loved ones no longer with us.

When Yui loses her mother and daughter in the tsunami, she is plunged into despair and wonders how she will ever carry on. One day she hears of the phone box, and decides to make her own pilgrimage there, to speak once more to the people she loved the most. But when you have lost everything, the right words can be the hardest thing to find . . .

Then she meets Takeshi, a bereaved husband whose own daughter has stopped talking in the wake of their loss. What happens next will warm your heart, even when it feels as though it is breaking . . .

The Phone Box at the Edge of the World
is an unforgettable story of the depths of grief, the lightness of love and the human longing to keep the people who are no longer with us close to our hearts.

'A moving and uplifting anatomisation of grief and the small miraculous moments that persuade people to start looking forward again' Sunday Times

'Strangely beautiful, uplifting and memorable, it's a book to savour' Choice, Book of the Month

'A poignant, atmospheric novel dealing with love, coming to terms with loss and the restoration of one's self' Daily Mail

'A story about the dogged survival of hope when all else is lost . . . A striking haiku of the human heart' The Times

'Beautiful. A message of hope for anyone who is lost, frightened or grieving' Clare Mackintosh, Sunday Times bestselling author of After the End

'Incredibly moving. It will break your heart and soothe your soul' Stacey Halls, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Familiars

'Mesmerising . . . beautiful . . . a joy to read' Joanna Glen, Costa shortlisted author of The Other Half of Augusta Hope

'Spare and poetic, this beautiful book is both a small, quiet love story and a vast expansive meditation on grieving and loss' Heat

'A perfect poignant read' Woman & Home

About the author

Laura Imai-Messina (Author)
Laura Imai Messina (Author)
Laura Imai Messina was born in Rome and moved to Tokyo at the age of 23. Her international bestselling novel The Phone Box at the Edge of the World was published in 31 countries. Laura teaches at some of the most prestigious Japanese universities, as well as writing for newspapers and working with the Japanese National TV Channel NHK.

Lucy Rand (Translator)
Lucy Rand was shortlisted for the TA First Translation Prize for The Phone Box at the Edge of the World which she translated while living in Japan. She has also translated novels by Italian authors Paolo Milone and Irene Graziosi, and is the editor of the guided audiobook app, Audrey. She now lives in Norwich.

Lucy Rand (Translator)
Lucy Rand is a teacher, editor and translator from Norfolk, UK. She has been living in the countryside of Oita in south-west Japan for three years.


The moving and uplifting international bestseller, based on an incredible true story.


The moving and uplifting international bestseller, based on an incredible true story

Product details

Authors Laura Imai Messina, Laura Messina, Laura Imai Messina
Assisted by Lucy Rand (Translation)
Publisher Zaffre Bonnier
Languages English
Product format Paperback
Released 31.03.2021
EAN 9781786580412
ISBN 978-1-78658-041-2
Dimensions 129 mm x 199 mm x 23 mm
Subjects Fiction > Narrative literature

Japan, FICTION / Family Life, FICTION / Literary, Fiction in translation, FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Death, Grief, Bereavement, TRAVEL / Asia / Japan, Narrative theme: Death, grief, loss

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