The other Lauren kept telling me to boost Under the Whispering Door up on the TBR pile and I read it a couple of months ago and I am still emotionally damaged. The other Lauren did warn me the book was going to chew me up and spit me out with all the emotions did I think Lauren was being slightly over dramatic yes… Did I send her a photo of me full on sobbing my heart out and some very tearful voice notes… yes, yes, I did. Spoilers
Mr Klune the emotional whiplash is something else in this book how in one book I went from hating Wallace to then making me feel all the sad emotions and actual tears. It was just rude. I think the last time I actually cried this hard about a character was birdbrain in the final Heroes of Hastovia book and I was with birdbrain for three books we went on a full three book journey. It’s a testament to TJ’s writing how he manged to make me all of the emotions in one book and felt a complete character arc.
At the beginning Wallace Price is a complete and utter douche canoe he thinks he has it all: money, career, and success. Till he dies and he realises a little too late that it didn’t matter how important he thought he was no one actually cared, and he got humbled quick. He also has the audacity to be shocked and angry that his own behaviours meant no one actually liked him. I know this all sounds harsh dear Reader, but he is a brilliantly created to be this horrible in the beginning.
Wallace is living what he thinks is his best live and the next thing he knows, he’s watching his funeral. Wallace gets to have the very real experience of Mr Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, however unlike Scrooge Wallace is dead, dead, and not in a dream been shown the errors of his ways. He gets to hear his ex-wife and former business partners have hardly anything positive to say in the nice terms.
However, Wallace sees an unfamiliar face at his funeral and that’s when we meet the charmingly sarcastic Mei. Mei is a reaper, and she has come to collect Wallace so he can meet the Ferryman Hugo. Mei and Hugo are there to help Wallace, and others, adjust to being dead and cross over to what lies beyond.
Wallace obviously has other plans and refuses to believe he’s dead and demands that things be fixed because he has work to do. Honestly imagine dying and your first thoughts are I don’t have time for this I have a meeting tomorrow. That is no way to live. Any enough about Mr Grumpypants for a bit.
I adore Hugo and is Mei and Hugo are waiting for me at the end of a bad reaction I am totally okay with that. Mei and Hugo are based at Hugo’s quirky home in the forest that doubles up as Charon’s Crossing Tea Room. While at Charon’s Crossing Wallace meets Hugo’s hilarious grandfather, Nelson, and Hugo’s lovable, lick-happy dog, Apollo. As much as I love everyone, I am team Apollo I mean he’s a ghost dog he wins hands down.
As much as I loved the opening and the world building this book really comes into its own when Wallace finally starts accepting his death, he finally sees his life for what it was, where he went wrong. As sad as it sounds Wallace never really lived until he died and its quite sad in the grand scheme of things not just in the world of TJ’s book. I am so glad I got to go on that journey with him.
This book really brings into focus what it means to truly be alive and it’s not a bad thing to see beauty in vulnerability.