A small shining gem of a book that captured Howl’s eye at the wonderful Eslite store in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay. Translated from Japanese, at the centre of the story is a café where, if you sit in a certain seat and are served coffee from a special silver kettle, you can travel back in time. There are rules though, the foremost being that you must return before the coffee ‘gets cold’.
Kawaguchi’s book is inhabited by a cast of characters—a gruff proprietor, intriguing customers and playful staff—who ensure that there is an ongoing connection across the four sub-plots contained between its covers, each story offering a unique take on the time travel experience, while leaving us wondering what the next tale may hold.
From despair to hope, from uncertainty to understanding, each journey leaves you almost as emotionally spent, yet also fulfilled, as those taking the trip to the past.
It is hard to leave these stories without having a tear in your eye – just make sure that its gone before the coffee gets cold 😉 .