Under the Whispering Door

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Pub Date 21 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 06 Apr 2022

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One of Buzzfeed's "Best Books of 2022"!
An Indie Next Pick!

A Locus Awards Top Ten Finalist for Fantasy Novel

A Man Called Ove
meets The Good Place in Under the Whispering Door, a delightful queer love story from TJ Klune, author of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller The House in the Cerulean Sea.

Welcome to Charon's Crossing.
The tea is hot, the scones are fresh, and the dead are just passing through.

When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead.

And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he’s definitely dead.

But even in death he’s not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

Hilarious, haunting, and kind, Under the Whispering Door is an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home.

One of Buzzfeed's "Best Books of 2022"!
An Indie Next Pick!

A Locus Awards Top Ten Finalist for Fantasy Novel

A Man Called Ove
meets The Good Place in ...

Marketing Plan

Marketing Campaign

- National author tour

- National print and online publicity campaign

- National print and online consumer advertising campaign including Goodreads, The Mary Sue, and LGBTQ+ and fantasy publications

- Prepublication buzz campaign including trade and consumer advertising

- Pre-order campaign with limited edition promotional item, supported via social media outreach and advertising

- Major ARC mailings to booksellers, librarians, media, and industry big mouths

- Indie Next campaign

- Early reader review campaign via Shelf Awareness Pro & Readers, Goodreads and NetGalley

- Featured title at San Diego Comic-Con and New York Comic Con

- Major digital marketing campaign to include partnering with LGBTQ influencers, content reveals, author videos, newsletter promotions, sweepstakes, custom social assets, and extensive coverage on Tor's social media platforms

- Digital preview

- Tor.com promotions including excerpts and review

- Extensive school and library marketing including conference promotions

Marketing Campaign

- National author tour

- National print and online publicity campaign

- National print and online consumer advertising campaign including Goodreads, The Mary Sue, and LGBTQ+ and...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781250217349
PRICE $28.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)

Average rating from 2577 members

Featured Reviews

As soon as I saw the description of this book, and knowing how much I loved The House in the Cerulean Sea, I had a feeling I would love this book too and it delivered!✨

Wallace Price is having a pretty weird day - he wakes up at his funeral. He’s met there by a reaper, who then brings him to a tea shop. Not just any tea shop, but one run by Hugo, a ferryman who helps souls get ready to cross over.

In life, Wallace the lawyer sucked - he worked all the time, and didn’t make any meaningful relationships. In death, Hugo and the other strange residents of the tea shop, alive and dead, help him live a little.

In a style very reminiscent of Cerulean Sea🌊, the cast of characters is quirky, including Hugo who actually has to run the tea shop as his day job🫖; Mei, the reaper who came to get Wallace as her first solo reaping job☠️; Nelson, Hugo’s deceased grandfather who teaches Wallace how to be a poltergeist👻; and the Manager, who’s in charge of the crossing at the tea house🤓.

This book was easy to read, I couldn’t put it down and devoured it in a day. It deals with questions of life and death, and what does it all mean🤷🏼‍♀️. But it also has quirky and fun moments that just showcase how it’s okay to have a good time. It also highlights just how awesome tea is lol! 🫖

I am so happy I got to read this book - thank you to Netgalley and Tor Books for a free ebook copy, in exchange for my honest review.

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After reading The House in the Cerulean Sea and recommending it to everyone I know, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read and review the ARC of his next book.

This book is about Wallace - he's a pretty awful human. He's selfish, rude, insensitive and puts his work as a lawyer about everything else in his life. In the first chapter, Wallace dies. After his death, his ghost learns what it is to really live. This book is so heartfelt - there is so much emotion and growth in the characters. I loved that there was TJ Klune's trademark quirky humor which was good given the difficult topics of death, regret, guilt etc. I enjoyed this book immensely.

Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Books for the ARC for this book in exchange for an honest review.


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I absolutely loved this book. It managed to feel completely different to 'The House in the Cerulean Sea', and yet felt reminiscent. This book caused me to reflect about the way I interpreted and felt about death, and was a truly emotional and beautiful read. Klune has done it again, with a deceptively complex concept exposing simple truths about what it is to be human.

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TJ Klune: author of queer book hugs. That’s the only way I can explain the magic that was The House on the Cerulean Sea and that is Under the Whispering Door.

Though not related to the book that was Klune’s claim to fame, the world in Under the Whispering Door feels comforting and familiar after reading The House on the Cerulean Sea. Tough topics such as death, grief, murder, and suicide are tackled gently in this wondrous world featuring ferryperson Hugo, reaper Mei, grandfather Norman, and the protagonist Wallace.

Pick up this book for an endearing story about creating a life in death.

Thank you, @netgalley and @tjklunebooks for an advanced reader copy of Under the Whispering Door. Pick this up from your local bookstore on September 21!

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Thank you Macmillan-Tor/Forge, and NetGalley for the ARC!

Wallace is a bastard. A cold hearted, malicious bastard, and he dies that way as well. This is all a surprise to him as he stands over his body at his funeral with only a handful of guests including a strange woman he's never seen before. Even more a surprise when this strange woman looks right at him and actually sees him. This woman is Mei and she is here to take him to the ferryman, a wayward place between death and the afterlife. This place happens to be a tea shop ran by Hugo, a lovely looking man with all the patience and kindness in the world. All the patience in the world doesn't help Wallace. He is mad and unnerved that this would happen to him and he's cruel to anyone who disagrees. However, the longer Wallace stays at this resting stop, the more he starts to unwind and discover layers of himself he never knew he had. Now, as Wallace is finally getting a glimpse at what his life could have been, the head of the afterlife declares that he has one week to cross over and this new life is gone.

I rather enjoyed this novel. I wasn't sure how people liked it because I felt like the only reviews they had was "It has and LGBTQ relationship!" While I have NOTHING against that, I felt that so many people were missing out on what an amazing and heartfelt novel this is. There is so many layers and depths to the story that the romance is just a dollop in it. I cried several times reading this, so be prepared for that, especially if you've lost a dog! I also enjoyed his concept of the afterlife and while I do believe in God myself (this book does not) it does follow through with my belief that we all essentially believe the same thing no matter what we call it. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like something a little different in concept and pace.

Rate: 4.5/5


Author: T.J. Klune

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I will never not recommend this book! I love Klune's style so much. I wouldn't accept such sweetness from just anyone. Under the Whispering Door is like a warm hug I didn't know I needed.

Wallace learning to live after he has already died makes the reader really think about how they are living now. What kind of legacy will they leave behind. What will tether you to the world? Wallace was awful. The worst. And yet, even he is capable of redemption. He was all along.

Characters were amazing. Story was great. I have no notes.

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