Book Review: Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune

November 13, 2021 in SFF

AD • I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post also contains affiliate links. Affiliate links are marked with a (*). When you purchase an item through these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, please read my Disclosure.

Hello and happy Saturday! Today’s my turn on the blog tour for Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune and I’m so excited to talk to you about this book. In case you missed it, last year T.J. Klune released a fantasy book called The House in the Cerulean Sea which received rave reviews from readers and booksellers alike. So it goes without saying that Under the Whispering Door has been on many ‘most anticipated’ lists this year. And having now read it, I fully expect to see it pop up on just as many ‘best of 2021’ lists. It’s warm, hopeful and cosy – perfect for these colder days.

Many thanks to Black Crow PR and UK Tor for sending me a copy to read and review. All opinions are entirely my own.

Under the Whispering Door
by T. J. Klune

Publisher: Tor
Date of Publication: 28th October 2021
Genre: SFF
Format: Hardback (384 pages)

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Book Review

Under the Whispering Door was delightfully cosy. Yes, it’s a speculative book about death and what comes after but it’s both hopeful and warm in its approach. It’s also very heavy on the found family trope. So much so that I genuinely felt at home at the tea shop amongst the Freemans and their guests. It was truly wonderful to read.

With that said, I should also add that it was extremely challenging getting through the final pages because I was crying so heavily that the words were a bit of a blur. Part of that is the emotional content on page but the rest was on a much more personal level. You see, this week marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of my wonderful grandad and my beloved guinea pig, Heidi. I knew it was going to tug at the heartstrings when the ghost grandad and ghost dog were introduced into the story but boy was it bittersweet. Within these pages, Klune gave me the words I needed at exactly the right moment in my life and for that I will be eternally grateful. As such, this book meant a lot more to me than I ever could have predicted going in.

At first, I struggled to get into the narrative because Wallace is not likable at all. He’s this self-centred lawyer and you don’t care all too much that he’s dead. However, this book is very much about his development into a warm, self-less ghost in death. One capable of love and friendship and putting others first. And so you do gradually warm to Wallace. It takes some time but it’s worth it. And I think that’s mirrored in the way that the other main characters warm to Wallace too.

One thing that I wasn’t too keen on is actually the synopsis. I mean, it’s like one of those Netflix trailers that shows you the entire plot of a film including all the pivotal moments. Nothing is left to the imagination. And I mean some of the things mentioned in the synopsis don’t even happen until way into the second third of the book. Sometimes even later than that. So my advice to prospective readers would be: don’t read the synopsis.

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I'm Hayley - a UK book blogger & reviewer. Also: introvert, homebody & mum. Kinda emo. 🖤🤍💜

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