Synopsis: This is a contemporary fantasy and one like I have never read before. In it, we have Wallace Price, who has recently died from a heart attack and who many considered not to have been a good man. He is sitting in a church pew watching his own funeral and begins to suspect that all might not be well and that he may actually be dead. While he is sitting there contemplating this, along with the fact that other than his ex-wife, no one attended his funeral, a reaper called Mei appears. She has come to lead him to the afterlife. She takes him to a small tea shop in a village. The tea shop’s owner, Hugo, is a ferryman – he helps souls cross over to the afterlife. The problem is that Wallace refuses to cross over – he’s just not ready yet and so he stays at the teashop along with Hugo, Mei (and Hugo’s grandfather and his dog Apollo, both of which are also deceased and not ready to cross over yet) until he is ready. While Wallace is waiting to cross, he begins to examine his life – to weight up the things he did wrong versus what he did right and he realizes that he made a lot of mistakes in his life and we watch while he tries to come to terms with this.
My thoughts: This is definitely a whimsical read, however, at the same time it also contains a lot of life truths. While there is certainly sadness and grief in respect to Walter realizing how he wasted his life, there is also a lot of humor and hopefulness at the same time. I enjoyed this book a lot and gave it 4/5 stars.
Thank you to Netgalley and Tor for an advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book is available now for purchase.