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In a small back alley of Tokyo, there is a café that has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. Local legend says that this shop offers something else besides coffee—the chance to travel back in time.
Over the course of one summer, four customers visit the café in the hopes of making that journey. But time travel isn’t so simple, and there are rules that must be followed. Most important, the trip can last only as long as it takes for the coffee to get cold.
Heartwarming, wistful, mysterious and delightfully quirky, Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s internationally bestselling novel explores the age-old question: What would you change if you could travel back in time?
“Kawaguchi meets Western tastes with an all-female cast of time travelers. As interest grows internationally to hear the voices of Japanese women, he emphatically renders heroines coping with loss and social expectations.”
–The Japan Times (JP)
“Before The Coffee Gets Cold essentially touches on the universal desire to know ‘what if’, and putting aside the premise of magical time-travel, it is a story about human relationships, missed opportunities and the enduring power of love.”
–The Gryphon (UK)
”These stories… are all plausible in everyday life. There is nothing over the top or eccentric about the pain that these women experience. ‘Before the coffee gets cold’ provides a thought provoking and at times tear jerking realisation about what we would say if we could go back in time.”
“Kawaguchi cleverly and effortlessly subverted all my expectations... it is full of soul, presented through clever world building and unfolding of its characters and relationships.”
–Books and Bao (UK)
“The gorgeous cover draws you into Before the Coffee Gets Cold ... but it's the quirky story that keeps you reading.”
–Times Live (ZA)