When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.

But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.

When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

Under the Whispering Door is a contemporary fantasy about a ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with.




5 stars and no tissues left


“If we worry about the little things all the time, we run the risk of missing the bigger things.”


TJ Klune is a poet of the soul.

I will never be able to convey in my review what I experienced reading this book.

He never uses sophisticated words or elaborate wording and yet, in just a few words he conveys a myriad of emotions and deep fundamental truths
He makes us really THINK about important aspects of life and of death!

He also never uses flashy and perfect heroes. Or in this story, even sympathetic one.
At the beginning of the story, Wallace Price is rather despicable. Certainly not one person you’d want as friend or as boss.

And when he realizes that he is dead, he’ll complain, try to use his influence to become undead…
But that’s the beauty of that story: it’s a redemption story. Everyone deserves a second chance. A second chance at realizing his errors, at seeing what really matters and at becoming a better person.
Wallace Price will have an incredible character growth. A lifting worthy of Cher’s!

And to help him change, to guide him we’ll get a whole cast of amazing side characters.
Hugo the ferryman, Nelson the grumpy and facetious ghost grandad, Apollo the happy go lucky ghost dog and Mei, the kickass reaper.

When Wallace arrives at Hugo’s house after being dragged from his own funerals by Mei, he is angry. Certain that there was a mistake. That he can’t be dead. That he still has important things to do.
Slowly he’ll go through the different stages of grief. And that was genius. To have the dead grieve for their own death. For the loss of their life as they knew it!
From anger to bargaining, sadness, depression to acceptance, TJ Klune guides us through grief’s stages using tenderness, patience and humor.

All these characters are golden. Multi layered, compassionate, good at their chore, they felt real. That’s why I ended up with no tissues left, puffy eyes and a clogged nose.
It reminded me of my dad’s death. And it left me with no more tears to shed but also feeling light and cleansed instead of depressed and hopeless.

I’d say read this book with caution.
If you are experiencing or experienced grief, it could be your salvation or a painful reminder.
I personally am glad to have read it because clogged nose and all, I am wiser and filled with a new perspective on life and death.

Last words about that book.
When I read the author’s note and dedication, I confess that I googled the author. What I found left me with a renewed sense of awe and respect for what TJ Klune did. How he could transcend his own grief and hurt to write a story profoundly beautiful and transcendental is something marvelous. I also got who he identified with ine the book…

Thanks for reading!


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  1. I loved this book so much. I read it just after my mother-in-law died and it really resonated with me. It had a lot of moments that made me laugh and smile, but yes, I think I also probably went through half a box of tissues sobbing. Such a special book.

  2. This book sounds like a treasure there. I love how he writes, he just speaks to the deepest parts of our souls in a way that is relatable. So happy this one was such a read for you there.

  3. I have a hold for The House in the Cerulean Sea, and I am eager to read my first Klune book. I really want to find out what these books are all about, and I just google Klune, and now I am crying.

  4. I adored this book. You’re right about Klune not using any sophisticated words, but he can sure get his point across in a profound way. Wonderful review, Sophie!