Book Review of ‘Under the Whispering Door’ by TJ Klune

I don’t normally read Fantasy, but for TJ Klune, I make an exception. – he is fast becoming one of my favourite authors, and his latest book, ‘Under the Whispering Door’ is due to be published in September 2021.

When we first meet Wallace Price, he is a despicable man. He lives for his job and doesn’t care about the people he employs at all. Think modern-day Scrooge!

He didn’t even know she had children. He wasn’t one to delve into the personal lives of his employees. Children were a distraction, one he’d never warmed to.

‘Under the Whispering Door’, chapter 1

Our endurance of this character is, however, a fleeting one, as Wallace Price has a fatal heart attack early on in the novel. Good riddance! But no, that’s not the end for Wallace Price, for this is not a tale of Wallace’s life, but of his death – or rather what happens when he is dead.

In death, Wallace meets his antithesis – Hugo – a patient, empathetic ‘ferryman’, and Mei, who is a ‘reaper’. And it’s TJ Klune, so of course the ferryman runs a tea shop!

Just like in ‘The House in the Cerulean Sea’ (which continues to receive rave reviews from everyone, including me), there is a real mix of humour and empathy in the style of this novel. There are some pretty hard-hitting messages in this novel about the way in which we use of lives, and how we treat those around us, but then this is interlaced with heart-warming relationships, a mad clairvoyant and the ghost of dog, so it’s all rather palatable.

As a teacher of English at a high school, I know how difficult it is to find good-quality literature featuring same-sex relationships that doesn’t make the fact that the characters aren’t heterosexual the main plot point. I love TJ Klune for this, and I’m looking forward to introducing his work to my pupils.

This is a modern-day fairy tale which tells of redemption, love and friendship. It will leave you wanting to hug those who you love then make them a pot of tea.

Life is senseless, and on the off chance we find something that does make sense, we hold on to it as tightly as we can…

‘Under the Whispering Door’, chapter 22
The image is the front cover of ‘Under the Whispering Door’ by T J Klune.  The text at the bottom of the cover reads ‘Death is only their beginning’.

‘Under the Whispering Door‘ is due to be published on 21st September 2021. Thank you NetGalley UK and Tor Books for an ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

You can buy ‘Under the Whispering Door’ on Amazon here (and if you use my link, I’ll receive a small commission at not extra cost to yourself).

6 thoughts on “Book Review of ‘Under the Whispering Door’ by TJ Klune

  1. This sounds fantastic! I loved The House in the Cerulean Sea. The fact that this is being released on my birthday just makes it that much more special, too! LOL! Great review!

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  2. Wonderful review Claire, I am definitely looking forward to reading this one. I hope it comes out on audiobook, but if not, I will read it. I agree with you, Klune just writes about same sex couples as if it is an ordinary and everyday occurrence which it should be.

    Liked by 1 person

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