Japanese Lit Challenge Review: Before Your Memory Fades by Toshikazu Kawaguchi, translate by Geoffrey Trousselot


My Interest

In prior Japanese Literature Challenges, I unexpectedly discovered this little series of books that feature time travel from cafes. Time travel is not normally my thing, but these books, and their audio reader, are so delightful I was excited to see there was a third book!

Confession: This was actually the last book I finished in December. I’m still counting it. It just came in a little early at the library, but was ordered for this challenge.

The Story

Instead of Tokoyo’s Funiculi Funicula, this story is set in near the Japanese port city of Hakodate at the Donna Donna cafe. Similar set-up–you can not go back and change what will happen.  You can only visit with someone who has visited the cafe.

This time we have mostly a family story. Parents killed in a car crash, the daughter survives and grows up bitter. She goes back to face her parents. There is much more to the story, of course, but that’s the gist. There’s also the guy who wanted to be a comedian and his wife encouraged him, but she died. He goes back to show her he won and award for his comedy. And, finally there’s a story of missed opportunity in love. These are not spoilers–they are in the blurb and known them won’t ruin anything.

My Thoughts

I loved these stories–especially the girl who lost her parents. As a child I used to imagine this  happening to me–and having to go live with my aunt and uncle and my only-child cousin. I could see myself at about  age 11 wanting to travel to the future (Stark Trek was on then) and tell my folks how awful it all had been. LOL. Thank heaven it never happened to me! The story is very poignant–well, the stories (plural) are all very poignant and that’s why I’ve loved these books. I’ve listened to the audio versions.

Before Your Memory Fades by Toshikazu Kawaguchi, translate by Geoffrey Trousselot

My Reviews of the First Two Books

Before the Coffee Gets Cold (Book 1)

Tales From the Cafe (Book 2)

There’s still time to join in with the 2023 Japanese Literature Challenge 16 hosted by Dolce Bellezza


9 thoughts on “Japanese Lit Challenge Review: Before Your Memory Fades by Toshikazu Kawaguchi, translate by Geoffrey Trousselot

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  1. I loved Before the Coffee Gets Cold and the next two are definitely on my reading list! I love how they are so short you can read them in one sitting and just immerse yourself in this little coffee shop and the characters. I found the first one much more emotional than I had expected too

    Liked by 1 person

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