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TJ Klune

Under The Whispering Door

“It’s never enough, is it? Time. We always think we have so much of it, but when it really counts, we don’t have enough at all.”

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.


Alphabet Team Review

In classic TJ Klune style, in this story the main character's sexuality is one of the least important things about them. It's there but it isn't the focus. I think to focus on the trauma of the queer experience can be quite draining, so I always find it refreshing when it is just characters living... or in this case, not.

This story is about grief, death and what comes after. It's challenging, emotional, funny, lovely. I cried a lot, but it was that good cathartic crying. If you're a dog person, there is a ghost dog called Apollo who I absolutely adored.

I really want to know what tea Hugo would serve me. Probably something with lemons and vanilla. I think about that often.



Product Info

Publisher: ‎ Tor Books
Date: September 21, 2021
Language: ‎ English
Hardcover: ‎ 376 pages
ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1529087987

Full Description

From TJ Klune, USA Today bestselling author of The House in the Cerulean Sea, comes Under the Whispering Door, a new contemporary fantasy about a ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with.

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.

By turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, this absorbing tale of grief and hope is told with TJ Klune's signature warmth, humour, and extraordinary empathy.

Content Warnings

The following note is included in the book:

This story explores life and love as well as loss and grief. There are discussions of death in different forms--quiet, unexpected, and death by suicide. Please read with care.

Animal death
Cancer (terminal)
Child death
Death of parent (past, mentioned)
Heart attack
Outing (mentioned)



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