Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Before the Coffee Get Cold 01

Before the Coffee Gets Cold was written by Toshikazu Kawaguchi and translated to English by Geoffrey Trousselot. The story started in a cafe at the small back alley of Tokyo. Unlike other cafe, this one has been offering its customers a unique experience—a chance to travel back in time. However, a visit to the past comes with a set of rules: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold.

The book explores the classic question we ask ourselves from time to time—what would you change if you could go back in time?—with four different aspects. It has four stories from four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café’s time-travelling offer, (1) in order to confront the lover who left them, (2) receive a letter from their husband whose memory has begun to fade, (3) see their sister one last time, and (4) meet the daughter they never got the chance to know. The second story, Husband and Wife, is the most affecting one and it really tugged my heartstrings. Although time travel stories are told before in many ways, this book has its own uniqueness. It was satisfyingly relishing. There’s a movie adaptation of this book with the same title and its trailer looks promising.

In most of all the time travel fantasy, we can’t change the past or what had already happened. It’s always been the most frustrating factor, too. Yet, if the chances are given, we all would like to go back to certain time in our past. Even though we won’t be able to make a significant difference to our biggest what-if, most of us have some past we would like to revisit. Come to think of it, it is more to make ourselves feel better than make things right with the other party, isn’t it?

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