Before Your Memory Fades

Toshikazu Kawaguchi, Geoffrey Trousselot (trans.)

Before Your Memory Fades
Pan Macmillan
United Kingdom
1 September 2022

Before Your Memory Fades

Toshikazu Kawaguchi, Geoffrey Trousselot (trans.)

The third novel in the international bestselling Before the Coffee Gets Cold series, following four new customers in a cafe where customers can travel back in time.

In northern Japan, overlooking the spectacular view Hakodate Port has to offer, Cafe Donna Donna has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.

From the author of Before the Coffee Gets Cold and Tales from the Cafe comes another story of four new customers, each of whom is hoping to take advantage of the cafe’s time-travelling offer. Among some familiar faces from Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s previous novels, readers will also be introduced to:

A daughter who couldn’t say ‘You’re an idiot.’


The third book in the bestselling Before the Coffee Gets Cold series is finally here. Set seven years after the events of the second book, and this time at a new cafe, Before Your Memory Fades breathes new life into the series while retaining Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s trademark warmth and charm.

In this instalment, we’re transported from the Tokyo café that fans of the series know and love, Funiculi Funicula, to its sister café, Donna Donna in Hokkaido. Like its Tokyo counterpart, Donna Donna allows patrons to travel back in time. To do so, they must follow certain rules – the most important being that they must drink their coffee before it gets cold if they wish to return to the present. What this allows is brief, often final, conversations with loved ones.

What I enjoy about this series is Kawaguchi’s gentle, uncomplicated look at life. While the messages of his stories are often simple truths such as ‘we should live without regrets’, they are told in a way that never feels cliché. Instead, they remind us of sentiments we often know deep down but forget in our day-to-day lives. Like its predecessors, Before Your Memory Fades is the perfect cosy read to tuck into when life feels a little darker, prompting us to think about life’s true value and what to do with ours while we still have the chance.

Tracy Hwang is a bookseller at Readings Emporium.

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