Cover Image: Under the Whispering Door

Under the Whispering Door

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Member Reviews

Following his sudden death, Wallace Price finds himself at an afterlife way station: Charon's Crossing, a tea shop far from the city, tucked alongside a forest. It is here, when thrown together with the inhabitants -- both living and dead -- of the tea shop, that he learns about sacrifice, selflessness, family, and love. 

hidden among the humor and romance were these excellent candid conversations about death, grief, and humanity that were so poignant. overall, the whole thing was so balanced. the heavy and the charm were never outweighed by one or the other. cue clichés here: i laughed, i cried, etc etc. but truly, i did. 

one of my favorites of the year so far, for sure!
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Not my cup of tea.
Too bad too because of such great reviews of a previous book written.
Now I'm worried I won't like that other book either.
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T.J. Klune creates characters that you love and never want to leave. Wallace is slightly cankerous old man who is set in his ways. But everything changes when a reaper comes to lead him away. But it doesn't go like Wallace, or the reader expects...  Wallace ends up in a tea shop and that's where Wallace begins to learn about living. Even after dying.

Highly recommend. I laughed and cried. And look forward to anything Klune will write in the future.
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Wow, this book. A perfect, cozy, delightful, and emotional 5-star read! 
Of course! 
Of course TJ Klune did it again. He always delivers such a satisfying mix of romance, self-discovery, fantasy, humor, and oh-so-much-heart. There's death, grief, hope, love, found family, ghosts, and copious amounts of rare tea. I’m SO freaking here for all the feels and tears!⠀
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Klune perfectly illuminates the choices we make in life with the connections we avoid or build with others, and even with how we treat ourselves. I love how he gives us hope for rectifying our poor choices in life, by making new connections and finding meaning and love in death.

I didn't want to put this book down and I definitely didn't want it to end. What a beautiful and thought-provoking story! Pre-order this and know you made the right choice.⁠
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Under the whispering Door by T J Klune review 

Soooo TJ Klune has done it once again!! Is there actually nothing that he can not do because wow.. just when you think his writing, world, characters couldn’t get any better, Klune pulls it out the bag each time! TJ Klune you have those magical abilities! Show me your ways!

Now firstly going into this.. I hadn’t read anything about it,As with all Klune’s books I like to just go into them blind and become immersed into the world and story without knowing to much! 
Now I will say once I started to read this book, you know very early this is a book that focuses on death and loss. Now I’ve got to be honest,at first I was like ooofff I don’t know wether I can read this book right now as it hit a little close to home with recently at the start of the year losing my Grandad.. it can be hard to read about the Subject of Loss and Death, But i carried on and I’m so so happy I did because yes this book Talks a lot about Death.. but oh it was so much more than that! TJ Klune has a way of adding in those light moments to the sad moments, And somehow he makes the Novel a happy place to be and just has you smiling and laughing With the way the characters interact, the bonds that are made and so much more!! 
The characters in this book, You will fall in love with them all.. my top fav out the bunch is a character Called Mei.. And that’s all I’ll say. 

Of course this is a 5 star read for me.. in my Top 10 of the year and I don’t think it will change or move!! When this releases (I know it’s a bit of a wait) September 21st everyone go out and pick it up!  

TJ tackles many subjects in this book.. and he himself put some trigger warnings at the start of the novel!! Mental health and Death,Grief are the big ones for sure.
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This book is like cozy slippers. Or an old friend. I didn't want to put it down and I definitely didn't want it to end.
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Another TJ Klune book that I simply loved. Just thinking about death and life and learning to love in death and live in death. But a beautiful story that definitely ripped my heart out and then carefully put me back together and gave me hope. And now I'd like some jasmine tea. And to cuddle my dogs, who yes, are the closest to angels we get on earth.
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TJ Klune has a real penchant for "unfulfilled, workaholic middle manager gets a second chance at life and love" stories, and I have absolutely no complaints about that, especially as the tales get more and more fantastical (see: The House in the Cerulean Sea). I only wish the fantastical, diety-ish Manager was even weirder, and the bureaucracy even more byzantine.
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TJ Klune always delivers a satisfying mix of fantasy, romance, and genuine heart to each book. Under the Whispering Door is about the connections we make, or avoid, including the connection we make within ourselves. Wallace Price is an unlikeable man, but as he grows you learn to love and appreciate him, just as he does himself.  This will fill the void left when you finished House in the Cerulean Sea.
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This book was a lovely exploration of life, death, grief, love, and everything in between. Though it was slow in the beginning, I was enamoured by the cast of characters and found myself wanting to know more about them and if they'd find their happiness in the end.
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I’m going to share more of my thoughts closer to the pub date but:

HOLY SMOKES!!!! What a an utterly beautiful and thought-provoking book. Important and heart-wrenching and meaningful. (With the most perfect touches of humor and swoon!) Another TJ Klune must-read, and one that I’ll hold close to my heart.

And yes. You will cry.

A huge thanks to Macmillan-Tor/Forge and NetGalley for the e-ARC.
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When the only people who show up at your funeral are your ex wife and your three law partners, and no one has anything nice to say, you know you’ve been a real jerk. Wallace has to come to terms with his life and his death. His reaper brings him to a tea house where we find a quirky group, each member showing him compassion as he delays his journey and finds what was missing in his life and to find a purpose for existing.

Very slow to start, but it picks up a quarter of the way in. I teared up at the end.
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Another masterpiece by TJ Klune. 

This book is about death. Specifically what happens after people have died but not in any religious sense. We follow Wallace a high flying snobbish lawyer after his death. He gets picked up by a reaper at his own funeral where only four people were in attendance. From there Reaper Mei leads Wallace to the Ferryman Hugo whose purpose is to help souls like him to "cross over" or in this case go through the door. 
Wallace isnt ready to cross over yet, and through the help of Hugo and other members that resides in the Tea Shop (Hugo owns a Tea shop), Wallace learns to accept his death and reflects on his life. Throughout his duration in the Tea Shop, Wallace also learns about other souls that have been helped by Hugo. 

Author notes that this book is about life and love as well as loss and grief. It discusses death in different forms from the quiet, unexpected and death by suicide. (also murder). 

My Thoughts:
This book had my emotions all over the place - I was laughing, crying, worrying. There were painful moments, sad moments, funny moments, bitter sweet moments and happy moments. The atmosphere of this book is not a cozy read like The House in the Cerulean Sea - this book was both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. Whilst not dark per say; it deals with death and hope, life and loss. 

Having personally gone through the loss of a loved one, this book did trigger me in a few places but was broken up with enough intrigue, whimsical elements, great supporting characters and character development, that even though i was balling my eyes out in the second half of the book, I just could not put it down. In a way, it warms my heart to read this book and reflects somewhat my own process of acceptance in dealing with lost not just for a person, but also for a pet dog. Death is like the beginning of the next installment, and in order to continue the story this is the time to pause and reflect before carrying forward. Thank you to TJ Klune for writing such a beautiful book. 

Aside from the seriousness of the topic the book is centered around, it also contains humor, found family, queer love and tea. Lots of tea. I loved every single character of the Tea House.

There are so many brilliant lines and quotes; one of my favorite laugh out loud ones: "Wallace gaped in horror. He hadn't known awful wedding planning was genetic." 
I hope everyone gets a chance to read this stunning masterpiece.

Thank you to Netgalley and Tor / Macmillian Books for a free copy of the eARC. All opinions in this review are my own.
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Since I first discovered the "Tales of Verania" books by TJ Klune in 2019, there has not been another author who has managed to break my heart, make me laugh, make me cry, and make me hope, all at the same time.  This wonderful, wonderful book is no exception.

On the surface, this book is about Wallace, a grumpy, lonely, all-around not the greatest person in the world (but hey, he wasn't a murderer, so that is something), and his journey into his afterlife, after he dies as he lived: alone.  He meets Mei, the reaper who comes to take him to Hugo, the ferryman who will help him cross through the door, and Nelson and Apollo, Hugo's grandfather and dog.  Thsee characters help him come to terms with his new non-life.

But it is so much more.  This is a book about life, but it is also about death, and grief, and coming to terms with both.  TJ Klune has an incredible talent to make these difficult, heartwrenching conversations in his books so moving, and something we as the readers need to hear, as painful as they can be.

It's also a book about love, and finding it in unexpected places.  The romance here is not the focus of the story, but the love in it is the reason for it.  

TJ Klune is a brilliant writer who has very successfully written in multiple genres.  He writes very interesting, quirky characters who feel real and relatable, whether they are a ghost, a half-giant, a garden gnome, or the co-worker of a grumpy lawyer.  I recommend this book to those who want to be happy-sad, who enjoyed the TV show The Good Place, and just love great, comforting books.
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Earlier this year, I read The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune, and it was wonderful, so I was excited to get a chance to read his next book, Under the Whispering Door. Under the Whispering Door is an urban/contemporary fantasy novel. The protagonist is a lawyer named Wallace Price, who dies at the very beginning of the novel. He is helped into the afterlife by a reaper named Mei and a ferryman named Hugo. During his journey into the afterlife, he evolves from a uncaring, unfeeling man into a man that cares, feels and loves deeply.

I love T.J. Klune's writing. His prose is wonderful. It is funny and charming. His characters are so real. They show a range of emotions. They can be sarcastic and mean or loving and compassionate. Wallace is a typical unfeeling lawyer, but very quickly you start to feel sorry for him. By the end of the novel, you are rooting for him. I love the transformation all of the characters go through.

The book did have a subplot that I felt was unnecessary (Alan). I also felt let down by one character. Throughout the book, the Manager was mentioned with fear and contempt. When he finally made an appearance, I felt like he didn't live up to the hype. I felt he also gave in to Wallace and Hugo's deal a little too easily.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book. It had everything I look for in a great novel. It was funny. It was charming. It made me laugh. It made me cry. I became very emotionally invested in the characters. It talked about love in a very real way. It dealt with death and loss in a way that was respectful and interesting, without being overly sentimental.

I loved this book and highly recommend it!
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What an absolutely brilliant book. I found it a bit hard to get into at the start but once I got to around 15%, I couldn't stop reading. The book is beautifully written and the characters are incredible. This book is about Wallace Price who, after living a Scrooge-like life, dies from a heart attack. He then gets taken to a tea shop/crossing by Mei (one of many reapers) and where he meets Hugo (the ferryman), Nelson (Hugo's dead grandfather) and Apollo (their dead dog). The story that follows is just so incredibly lovely and heart warming and wonderful. I loved it so much - and I can't wait for everyone to read it.
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I have never cared for afterlife books but this one is sweet without being cloying. I didn’t enjoy "Under the Whispering Door" as much as "The House in the Cerulean Sea," but Klune has an astonishing gift for writing what Matthew Arnold called Sweetness and Light, even if it does not reside in any one character fully but instead manifests itself when characters together have that redemptive and transforming quality.

Klune is already unparalleled in celebrating the power of the found family, in my opinion.

This is the story of Wallace Price, a cold-hearted businessman who doesn't change his wicked ways until he finds himself in a strange halfway house after death. A Limbo of a therapeutic tea shop, where you learn what you need to learn until you move on to. . .whatever place is next. Wallace experiences a Grinch/Scrooge conversion experience and becomes a completely different person. The depth and breadth of the transformation is believable only if you believe that love can change a person that much. A nice infusion of humor adds life and realism to this redemption story.

You can't help but fall for a book with a great dog in it, at least I can't. It feels almost as if the author is cheating. Emotionally, I'm kind of a hard-nosed reader. I can handle anything but a fantastically drawn dog and then it's pass the tissues.

I felt as though Klune was writing me into a kind of alternative religion with this absorbing queer fable of the afterlife, with universal salvation and a higher power that earthly gods must obey. I was happy and content in this world.
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I don't normally read Sci-fi, but for TJ Klune, I make an exception. - he is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.

When we first meet Wallace Price, he is a despicable man.  He lives for his job and doesn't care about the people he employs at all.  Think modern-day Scrooge!  Our endurance of this character is, however, a fleeting one, as Wallace Price has a fatal heart attack early on in the novel.  Good riddance!  But no, that's not the end for Wallace Price, for this is not a tale of Wallace's life, but of his death - or rather what happens when he is dead.

In death, Wallace meets his antithesis - Hugo - a patient, empathetic 'ferryman', and Mei, who is a 'reaper'.  And it's TJ Klune, so of course the ferryman runs a tea shop!  

Just like in 'The House in the Cerulean Sea' (which continues to receive rave reviews from everyone, including me), there is a real mix of humour and empathy in the style of this novel.  There are some pretty hard-hitting messages in this novel about the way in which we use of lives, and how we treat those around us, but then this is interlaced with heart-warming relationships, a mad clairvoyant and the ghost of dog, so it's all rather palatable.

As a teacher of English at a high school, I know how difficult it is to find good-quality literature featuring same-sex relationships that doesn't make the fact that the characters aren't heterosexual the main plot point.  I love TJ Klune for this, and I'm looking forward to introducing his work to my pupils. 

This is a modern-day fairy tale which tells of redemption, love and friendship.  It will leave you wanting to hug those who you love then make them a pot of tea.
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This book is what happens when Wallace dies unexpectedly and begins his journey into his next life.  This book is about death and grief.  Wallace learned a lot about what it takes to live a happy life.  I'd never read TJ Klune before but I will be searching out other books by him.
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This, sadly, felt so much like The house in the Cerulean Sea to me. Klune is a great writer whose stories and prose drag you in. The themes amazing (but felt a little manipulative and strained, as though they were deliberate and forced at times) but when the romance plot came together it was a repeat of Cerulean and that disappointed me a little.
Great read, but missed something for me
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