Before the Coffee Gets Cold

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Translated by Geoffrey Trousselot

What would you change if you could go back in time?

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.

In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café’s time-travelling offer, in order to: confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer's, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.

But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold . . .

Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s beautiful, moving story – translated from Japanese by Geoffrey Trousselot – explores the age-old question: what would you change if you could travel back in time? More importantly, who would you want to meet, maybe for one last time?

ISBN: 9781529029581
Pan Macmillan
Publication date:
19 September 2019
Pages: 224

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
A charming and thought-provoking novel

"Before the Coffee Gets Cold" by Toshikazu Kawaguchi is a charming and thought-provoking novel that explores the themes of time, regret, and the power of human connection. The story takes place in a small Tokyo café where customers can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while traveling back in time to a moment of their choosing. The novel is written in the form of four interrelated stories, each one following a different character as they make their way to the café and use the time-traveling feature to try and change a past event.

One of the book's strengths is the way it delves into the emotional lives of its characters. The reader is drawn into each person's unique story and experiences a wide range of emotions as they navigate their past. The author's writing is evocative and poignant, drawing the reader in to the characters' struggles and triumphs. The idea of time-travel is used as a metaphor for the human condition, and the novel explores how people come to terms with their past and find ways to move forward.

Overall, "Before the Coffee Gets Cold" is a thought-provoking and heartfelt novel that will resonate with readers of all ages. It's a book that will stay with you long after you've turned the last page, leaving you with much to ponder about the nature of time, the choices we make, and the power of human connection.