Yui has lost her mother and daughter in the Japanese tsunami of 2011. Uncertain how to deal with her all encompassing grief, she learns of a phone booth far from where she lives in Tokyo that mourners use as a symbolic way to talk to the dead. During her first journey there, she meets a surgeon who has lost his wife to cancer. From that day on, they make the pilgrimage together once a month.
Messina’s novel is a fine example of how some individuals cope with grief, love and loss. Although one would think The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World would be a terribly depressing read; it truly isn’t. It’s a work filled with hope and is life affirming. The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World is a beautiful, heartfelt gem.