Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Likely Stories - Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

"Under the Whispering Door" is a book I had been eyeing for months because of its intriguing cover. It is written by TJ Klune, the same author who wrote "The House in the Cerulean Sea.”

The cover shows a three-story house each story being a different color. It was lopsided and looked as if it could fall at any moment. From the first few pages, I was immediately drawn into the book.

The way TJ Klune writes makes it seem as if the world around you has disappeared. You can empathize and understand the characters, even one as unlikeable as the one in the book. Wallace Price is a very egotistical and negative man. He works at a company as a businessman and fully believes that work is This the only important aspect of life. Which results in his coworkers hating him and dramatically limiting his social life. However, his sad life is cut short and he dies from a heart attack in the first chapter. Instead of appearing in heaven or going towards some "light" he witnesses his own funeral which is packed to the brim with about six people.

Within these six people, we meet a grim reaper, who is a young woman named Mei in a dashing suit. TJ Klune continues to add an interesting spin on death and the afterlife throughout this story. Mei is there to bring him to a wayside, this is the border between life and death. We now see the colorful building on the cover of the book which is"Charon's Crossing" a teashop. 

Entering the teashop Wallace is frustrated and though confused; he doesn't want to admit he is dead though he phases through walls and people. However, in this shop, we meet some characters who provide Wallace with insight. First, is Hugo the owner of the shop and a ferryman. He helps people cross to "the other side" and comforts them during this difficult time. Second is Hugo’s grandfather Nelson, he is dead like Wallace. He decides to stay with his grandson to help around the cafe and becomes a mentor to Wallace. Last but not least is a ghost dog named Apollo. He helps bring companionship to everyone although he is limited to barking and trailing behind anyone walking through the shop. 

Each of these characters become important to Wallace and they help him realize what matters. Especially Hugo who becomes the reason he smiles again and enjoys what little he has. When Wallace finally adjusts to being a ghost and is content to stay in this teashop he is forced to cross over within seven days. Determined, he tries to relive a life he will not regret within that week. From the beginning to the end, we witness his character grow and change.

His once pessimistic personality becomes optimistic and enjoys much more than just work. "Under the Whispering Door" has become one of my favorite books and made everyday life seem so much brighter. While telling a story of death we learn so much about the beauty of life

RECENT EPISODES OF LIKELY STORIES
Likely Stories - Never Let Me Go
During the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine, some people learned to make sourdough, and some learned to paint. Me? I read books. I'm Emma Weidmann, the Arts and Life Editor at the Baylor Lariat, with this week's edition of Likely Stories on KWBU.
Likely Stories - The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the nineteen thirty-six Berlin Olympics.
Harrison Otis says of The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the nineteen thirty-six Berlin Olympics, "...this is more than a sports story. It’s a window into American life during the Great Depression. It’s a story about Hitler’s rise to power. It’s a story of the men and women from Washington whose friendships and conflicts are the real heart of the book...".
Likely Stories - Normal People
Why hello there, I’m Malcolm Foster, Operations Assistant at KWBU, habitual collector of books and lifelong lover of compelling storytelling. Today I want to talk about a body of work that captured both my head and my heart. A book that I still find myself thinking of years after my first read through.
Likely Stories - Starter Villain
Hi, and welcome to Likely Stories. I’m Paige Connell, and I teach 9th grade English at Midway High School. Today I want to talk about one of my surprise favorite books of 2023, Starter Villain by John Scalzi.
Likley Stories - The Last Days of Letterman: The Final 6 Weeks
It took me a lot longer to read The Last Days of Letterman: The Final 6 Weeks, than it should have. It’s not a very long book, just over 300 pages, with more than 100 photographs. But I found myself turning again and again to YouTube to watch a clip of something that was mentioned in the text.
Likely Stories - The Displacements
Of all the books I have read recently, the one I have recommended to the most people is “The Displacements” by Bruce Holsinger.
Likely Stories - Devotions
My name is Heather White. When I am not managing my household and caring for my young children, I teach art and art history classes here in Waco. Today I am recommending the book “Devotions” by Mary Oliver
Likely Stories - Klara and the Sun
Hi, and welcome to Likely Stories. My name is Harrison Otis, and I'm a graduate student in the English department at Baylor University. Today I'm reviewing Klara and the sun, the 2021 novel by the British author Kazuo Ishiguro.
Likely Stories - The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store
As a kid, you could find me either writing my own stories or with my nose buried in one. I grew out of fairytales and fantasy magic, but a good book? Well, I never grew out of that. I'm Emma Weidmann, the Arts and Life Editor at the Baylor Lariat, with this week’s edition of Likely Stories on KWBU.
Likely Stories - The Nothing Man
Hi, and welcome to Likely Stories. I’m Paige Connell, and I teach 9th grade English at Midway High School. Today I want to discuss The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard, a book my friend at Fabled, Elizabeth Barnhill, first pointed me toward.