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The Bittersweet Hug of TJ Klune’s Under the Whispering Door

Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

Those who’ve read Klune’s other works know that his stories are full of heart. His latest work, Under the Whispering Door, also has heart, but differs from his previous works; it’s a story about grief, a tale suffused with love but also tinged with sadness.

That’s not to say the story is a tragic one. It’s still uplifting, but it hurts at times, the very definition of bittersweet. Those coming to the story expecting something similar to his last adult novel, The House in the Cerulean Sea, will find something different here. Where Cerulean Sea is like a friend giving you a warm fuzzy hug, Under the Whispering Door is a friend hugging you while you’re in the middle of a cathartic cry.

In Under the Whispering Door, we follow Wallace Price, a Scrooge-like character who starts out as a lawyer with no empathy and little concern for others. It’s not really a spoiler to share that Wallace is dead by the second chapter. It’s his journey after his death that is the core of the story. Wallace meets a reaper named Mei at his funeral, and she takes him to his ferryman, a young fellow named Hugo who runs a tea shop in a curious building far from where Wallace lived.

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2021-09-21 07:00


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