Warning! This review will contain spoilers, because after my book club discussion yesterday, I’m actually quite cranky about this book, and it’s impossible for me to rant properly if I can’t spoil the heck out of these stories. Don’t worry, you don’t really want to read this book anyway. Also, most of the spoilers are only visible if you go to my blog.
In a small, dark basement café in Japan, visitors can travel briefly back in time, if they observe a series of very careful rules.
- They can only go back to meet and interact with someone who has also been to the café.
- Nothing that happens in the past will change the present. No matter what they go back to do or say, the present will remain unchanged.
- They have to sit in one specific seat in the café. This seat is usually occupied by a silent lady reading a book. The lady is in fact a ghost, and if you try to forcefully move her, she will place a curse on you. She leaves her seat about once a day, to visit the toilet (and yes, you can keep giving her coffee to speed the process along), that’s when a person has their chance.
- You cannot leave the seat when you are in the past, then you will immediately be returned to the present.
- You travel back to the past when you are poured a cup of a special coffee. You have only until the coffee gets cold before you have to return. You also have to drink the entire cup of coffee, or you become a ghost and replace the current ghost lady.
- You only get to do the time travel thing ONCE – no do-overs.
Suffice it to say, most people can’t actually be bothered, considering all the rules and how short a time they get to visit a past moment in their lives. Nevertheless, this book is split into four stories, with four different people who choose to use the magical option.
Full review here