Before We Say Goodbye by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

“There are many crossroads in life. All regrets stem from what happened at one moment we never imagined would happen to us. When our own action brings about an unexpected result, how can we not experience huge regret? After all, do we ever get another shot?”

Before We Say Goodbye is the fourth and final installment in the Before the Coffee Gets Cold series by Toshikazu Kawaguchi, translated from Japanese by Geoffrey Trousselot. In Tokyo, there exists a magical cafe where patrons can embark on a unique journey through time. This enchanting establishment permits its visitors to travel back in time, albeit briefly, as long as they return to the present before their coffee cools. Each book features a different set of characters who visit the cafe for various reasons, such as reuniting with a lost love, making amends with a family member, or saying goodbye to a beloved pet.

In this book, we meet four new customers who have one thing in common: they want to revisit a crucial moment in their lives and change something before it is too late. The first customer is a husband who wants to tell his wife something important before she dies of a terminal illness. The second customer is a woman who wants to bid farewell to her dog who passed away unexpectedly. The third customer is a woman who wants to answer a marriage proposal that she rejected years ago. The fourth customer is a daughter who drove her father away.

The second story had me sobbing, like ugly cry.

As in the previous books, Kawaguchi explores the themes of love, regret, forgiveness, and fate through the stories of these characters. He also shows how the choices we make can have lasting consequences, not only for ourselves but also for others. He also raises the question of whether it is possible or desirable to change the past, or whether we should accept it and move on.

Kawaguchi’s writing style is simple and elegant, with a touch of humor and whimsy. He creates a vivid and atmospheric setting for the cafe and its surroundings, as well as a memorable and diverse cast of characters.

Before We Say Goodbye is a heartwarming and poignant conclusion to the series, that will leave the readers with a sense of nostalgia and hope. It is a book that celebrates the power of human connection and the value of every moment. It is a book that reminds us to cherish the people and things that matter to us, and to express our feelings before we say goodbye.

Also see: Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Thank you PanMacMillan SA for the opportunity to read this book.

About the book: Before We Say Goodbye by Toshikazu Kawaguchi – Pan Macmillan

About the author:  Toshikazu Kawaguchi – Pan Macmillan