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.
Okay, full disclosure…I received an arc (thank you!) from the publisher for an honest review. HOWEVER, when I saw that Kirt Graves was doing the audiobook narration, I decided to wait for the audio. It’s actually the first time I’ve preordered an audiobook. I knew that I would enjoy TJ Klune’s book, but I knew I would love it even more, with Kirt’s narration. And thanks to these two men, I spent the better part of 3 hours crying…all in the name of a true HAPPILY EVER AFTER.
I’m not even sure where to start with this book. The author’s world building is so incredible, bringing life to what should be a dead place. All of the characters were rich and nuanced, not only the main characters. In fact, there really weren’t two main characters in this romance, but five total, and we learn so much about them throughout the book. Meanwhile, Wallace learns a lot about himself, who he was before he died, and who he really wanted to become. And in the end, he did all he could to redeem the wrongs that he did in life, as well as the ones that he saw after his death.
I loved that Hugo couldn’t touch Wallace…it was such a small thing, but it really spoke to what these two men were dealing with as they fell in love. Their lives were going in separate directions, they couldn’t touch, only see and talk, so Mei had to be the one to make any contact…well unless you could Nelson’s cane (haha). On top of it all, this book was hilarious. I’m still working from home, and was super glad that I was not at work listening to this book, for all the laugh out loud moments…as well as the bawling I did for the previously mentioned 3 hours.
There were so many little scenes in the book that moved it from an average book to amazing. Wallace playing with Apollo out back, or hanging out with Nelson and just talking all night. Even how much he clearly grew to respect Mei and all she did for her found family. Seeing Cameron’s life, and doing what he could to help in the tea shop. Every small step Wallace made brought him from a man everyone hated in the first chapter, to someone who you rooted to find his happy ending. Wallace built himself a family simply by being the man he wanted to be.
The narration by Kirt Graves was spot on once again. I enjoy the little inflections he adds to each and every book he narrates. He takes something mildly funny, and with just a simple pause, or a tiny gasp he turns it into a laugh out loud moment. His vocal range always allows me to know which character is speaking, even if the words don’t, something that is much appreciated. Kirt is definitely my top 3 narrators in this genre, and I’m always happy to spend a few hours in the world that he works so hard to recreate from the author’s vision.
In the end, you could not have asked for a happier ending, or a more fulfilling ride along the way. Full of humor, joy at the little things (like tea!) and so uplifting. I may have had puffy eyes for a full day after, but it was all well worth it.
Story: 4.5 pieces of eye candy
Narration: 4.5 pieces of eye candy