Under the Whispering Door - book cover
Literature & Fiction
  • Publisher : Tor Books; 1st edition
  • Published : 21 Sep 2021
  • Pages : 384
  • ISBN-10 : 1250217342
  • ISBN-13 : 9781250217349
  • Language : English

Under the Whispering Door

An Indie Next Pick!

A Man Called Ove
meets The Good Place in Under the Whispering Door, a delightful queer love story from TJ Klune, author of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller The House in the Cerulean Sea.

Welcome to Charon's Crossing.
The tea is hot, the scones are fresh, and the dead are just passing through.

When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead.

And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he's definitely dead.

But even in death he's not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

Hilarious, haunting, and kind, Under the Whispering Door is an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home.

Editorial Reviews

An Indie Next and LibraryReads Pick!
A 2021 LibraryReads Favorite

"There is so much to enjoy in Under the Whispering Door, but what I cherish the most is its compassion for the little things―a touch, a glance, a precious piece of dialogue―healing me, telling me that for all the strangenesses I hold, I am valued, valid―and maybe even worthy of love." ―Ryka Aoki, Light from Uncommon Stars

"A warm hug of a book about a Grinch of a man who dies and a ferryman, who helps the dead in their journey onwards. Under the Whispering Door is a kind book, full of faith in the goodness of people, full of kind people showing how compassion is a strength. It broke my heart with its unflinching understanding that grief never goes away, never empties, only settles into the room of your soul like a strange souvenir. And then it healed me in the next breath." ―Cassandra Khaw, author of Nothing But Blackened Teeth

"Tenderness, wit, and skillful worldbuilding elevate this delightful tale. Fans of queer fantasy won't want to miss this." ―Publishers Weekly

"Is it possible to fall in love with someone's imagination? If so, consider me fully smitten. TJ Klune creates worlds where fear and threat can be conquered by kindness, and a tender, queer heart is more valuable than any weapon or power." ―David Levithan

"The latest by Lambda Literary Award winner Klune is a winning story about grief, loss, and moving on. Readers will cry and be charmed by his wonderful characters." ―Library Journal

"Klune's latest is a sweet tale of grief and second chances, and a ghost story about not giving up on even the most lost of souls." ―Booklist

"TJ Klune is a master storyteller." ―The Mary Sue

"TJ Klune is doing powerful work that inspires and impresses. He is a gift to our troubled times, and his novels are a radiant treat to all who discover them." ―Locus

Praise for The House in The Cerulean Sea
A 2021 Alex Award winner!
An Indie Next Pick!
One of Publishers Weekly's "Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2020"
One of Book Riot's "20 Must-Read Feel-Good Fantasies"

"I loved it. It is like being wrapped up in a big gay blanket. Simply perfect." ―V.E. Schwab, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"It will renew your faith in humanity." ―Terry Brooks, New York Times bestselling author of the Shannara series

"It's a witty, wholesome fantasy that's likely to cause heart-swelling." ―The Washington Post

"The House in The Cerulean S...

Readers Top Reviews

Amanda HudsonIanHayl
"What will you do with the time you have left?" This book actually made me grieve the main character, Wallace. By the end, I loved him so much that I went through denial, anger and bargaining for the story not to go where it was going. My heart hurt as if it was me that had a hook through my chest - not Wallace. But somehow none of that overtook the pure love and joy and brilliant humour that carried this entire story. I both ugly-cried and I laughed myself silly. I was told by the reviews I’d be wrapped in a big gay blanket - I didn’t realise it would actually be an entire universe’s worth of love cocooning me with scones and tea and perfectly crazy characters and a bouncy ghost dog! This has to be one of my all-time favourite reads - it’s beautiful, devastating, uplifting, raw and utterly utterly perfect.
I don’t even know where to start with this. This book is about the journey of a small group of people, some alive and some dead. Chayron Crossing tea room is a way station for the dead who aren’t ready yet to cross over which is where owner Hugo (the ferryman) along with reaper Mei come in to help these lost souls. Under The Whispering Door is about life, death, love, loss and discovery. Klune evokes a multitude of emotions with this beautifully written story and the character development is fantastic. P.S. to anyone who has read/does read it, Nelson is my favourite. It’s also a thought provoking read that makes you sit back and evaluate your own life. I would absolutely recommend this book to everyone I know but have a a box of tissues handy as it’ll make a crier out of the stoniest hearts. One of my favourite reads this year.
kitty katJennifer Ja
Repetitive, too long, dull, didn't care about the characters and overly sweet. It dragged. I wanted to like it but couldn't. Very expensive as well.
“We aren’t supposed to force someone before they’re ready. That’s not our job. We’re here to make sure they see that life isn’t always about living. There are many parts to it, and that it continues on, even after death. Its beautiful, even when it hurts”   And boy does it hurt. *NOTE TO SELF* do not read another TJ Klune on your break at work-or you will have to answer WHY YOU HAVE: tears cascading out of your eyes, snot sliding down your face and why you’re uncontrollably sobbing in the middle of the day.   Wallace was a tool: he didn’t care about anyone but himself. He won’t be missed by anyone when he dies because he never made one GOOD impact on anyone he came across. Did he care? No, he didn’t- but given the chance to reflect on his life and what he made of it, Wallace begins to see what life truly is about and how healing it can be to be vulnerable.   We follow Wallace when he is brought by Mei (the Reaper) to meet Hugo (the Ferryman who helps people cross), Nelson (Hugo’s adorable grand-father), and Apollo (Hugo’s sweet pup). He begins to understand what he missed out on while living, and how life isn’t about how much money or how many hours worked- it’s about the connections we make and how we have the ability to help others even in small ways.   The subject of death and grief is heavy-BUT Klune elegantly and insightfully touches on the importance of a life worth living and that death isn’t always an ending, but a beginning. That we should always say or do the things we want- we never know when it’ll be too late.   An amazing story of grief, loss, friendship and redemption-you’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you won’t want to leave your new friends behind when it’s over.   THE BIGGEST TY to @netgalley @torbooks and the author for an ARC in exchange for an honest review
I read The House In The Cerulean Sea last year like a starving person eating a meal for the first time in a week, so I had very high expectations for this book. In my opinion, it did not live up to its predecessor. The writing was good, but it did not have as much humor or heart and dragged a bit as a result. I highly recommend The House In The Cerulean Sea instead; I read about 300 books a year and it was one of the best of 2020 for me.

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