Book Review: Under the Whispering Door – T J Klune

Book Review: Under the Whispering Door – T J Klune

Release Date:
September 21st 2021
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 373
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.25/5 stars


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.


Under the Whispering Door is the beautifully told story of Wallace Price, who wakes up one day at his own funeral. When a reaper comes to take him to meet the Ferryman, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead. When Wallace meets Hugo he begins to reflect on the life he has lived and he realizes he may not have lived the life he had hoped for. Wallace decides he is not ready to give up on his life, but when the Manager arrives and gives Wallace a deadline of seven days to cross over, Wallace must use the time to learn about all the things he missed in life.

T J Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea is a book I’ve always wanted to read but haven’t had the chance to pick up. Going into Under the Whispering Door I had no idea what to expect. This book captivated me right from the very beginning with its intriguing premise and gorgeous writing style.

Under the Whispering Door has quite a slow-moving plot, but where it really excels is the well-crafted characters. Wallace was a fascinating protagonist who goes through so much growth in the book. You really fall in love with the characters as the story develops and I completely fell in love with Hugo, Mei, and the other residents of Charon’s Crossing. I’m never a big fan of romance in books but I thought it was so well done in this book and I was completely rooting for the characters to get together.

Books with happy, hopeful messages aren’t my typical kind of read but I completely fell under the spell of Under the Whispering Door. It spent a large part of the second half of the book holding back tears and cried a lot towards the end. This was such a brilliant read and I cannot wait to read more from T J Klune.

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