“In a small back alley of Tokyo, there is a café that has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. Local legend says that this shop offers something else besides coffee—the chance to travel back in time.”
Kawaguchi wrote this story originally as a play which was adapted into a novel and eventually translated into English. The story-line is that of four interconnected visitors to the café, each of whom wish to go back in time for various reasons including to meet once again with a loved one to say words left unsaid at the time, to comfort or reassure, or even to say goodbye. There are quite a few rules involved in accomplishing this, but the most important one is that you must return to the present before your coffee gets cold.
This is an interesting premise and prompts the reader to ask: Who would I like to visit with one last time? Where would I like to return in order to view a scene or meet with a loved one or experience or relive an episode meaningful to me in my past?
One rule is that you can only do this one time. Another rule is that you cannot change the present. But perhaps you can find peace or a sense of completion for something left undone or unsaid. This little book is a quick but heart-warming read.
–Sandy, Annie Bloom’s Books, Portland, OR