Toshikazu Kawaguchi

𝐁𝐞𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐖𝐞 𝐒𝐚𝐲 𝐆𝐨𝐨𝐝𝐛𝐲𝐞
𝐁𝐲 𝐓𝐨𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐤𝐚𝐳𝐮 𝐊𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐠𝐮𝐜𝐡𝐢
𝐏𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐫: 𝐏𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐝𝐨𝐫
𝐏𝐚𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤: 𝟏𝟕𝟑
𝐏𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐝: 𝟐𝟎𝐭𝐡 𝐒𝐞𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟏
𝐆𝐞𝐧𝐫𝐞: 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐅𝐢𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧
𝐉𝐚𝐩𝐚𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐞 𝐋𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞
𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫: 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟒

In 'Before We Say Goodbye,' the fourth instalment of the 'Before the Coffee Gets Cold' series, readers are treated to a genuinely heartwarming experience. The collection of simple yet beautiful short stories offers profound reflections on life. Once again, the narrative centres around four characters who visit the café for various reasons, seeking to connect with someone from their past. A man wishes to share something important with his wife, a daughter seeks to mend her relationship with her father, a woman aims to reconcile with her ex-lover, and perhaps most poignant of all, another woman longs to see her beloved dog once more. Every customer has a unique story that is intricately woven, capable of pulling at the heartstrings of readers.
Particularly memorable is the tale of the woman seeking to apologize to her departed dog for not being present in his final moments. This chapter delves into the deep bond between humans and their pets, emphasizing their integral role within the family dynamic. However, the narrative also hints at a potential resolution for the woman's guilt, suggesting that open communication with her husband might have alleviated some of her guilt, which adds a layer of relatability, even if it does lead to some frustration for the reader.

The timing of this novel differs somewhat from the others in the series (though one could argue, given its time-travelling café premise, that linear time isn't a strict concern!). Neither Kazu's daughter nor their previous trip to another café up north is mentioned in this installation, nor of their previous trip to another café up north. Additionally, there's a sense that both Nagare and Kazu seem somewhat younger. However, in the grand scheme of things, these details don't significantly detract from the overall story.
While some parts of the book may appear repetitive, such as the reiterated descriptions of the café's rules, their beauty remains undeniable. The recurrence found in this book was not unexpected and likely intentional, serving as a deliberate literary device that enhances the impact of the narratives. Moreover, this repetition can be seen as beneficial for readers approaching the series in a non-linear fashion, although experiencing it in sequence provides a fuller understanding.

Additionally, providing relationship maps for the characters at the beginning proves valuable for readers to navigate the interconnected stories. As a result of their simplicity, each narrative possesses a profound power that inspires and uplifts readers.
These books (all books from the series) possess a beautiful simplicity that carries profound meaning. They contain everything and nothing all at once, leaving a sense of satisfaction in appreciating the feelings that linger, even if we cannot alter or fully present the past.

Once again, the language flows easily, and the narrative is smooth, creating a fast-paced read. All the characters are well-developed. I would certainly recommend these books to everyone. 

My Rating:


Other Books From this Series

The Coffee Gets Cold (Book 1)

The Coffee Gets Cold (Book 2)

Before Your Memory fades; Book 3

NOTE:   In this blog, the CONTENT and PICTURES are owned by Samayra Singh, and cannot be used or distributed without permission. Strict legal action will be taken against any infringement.

* The email will not be published on the website.