Nicoletta travels to Rome with every intention of confronting her absentee mother. Her plans are thrown into flux when her mother, Olga, begs Nicoletta to keep herself a secret for just a little longer; her husband, for various reasons, prefers not to be involved with divorced women and might send Olga packing if he discovers the truth. Nicoletta grudgingly poses as the daughter of Olga's friend and takes up residence in Rome, becoming an apprentice at the restaurant owned by Olga's husband. Nicoletta is mystified by the strange requirement that the restaurant be staffed primarily by older men who wear reading glasses, and scoffs at the women who patronize the establishment just to get a glimpse of their favorite waiter... until she herself begins to fall for the sensitive and kind Claudio.
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Lydia Carlton is a fairy doctor, a specialist with the ability to serve as an intermediary between the fairy and human realms. Unfortunately there are few people left who still believe in fairies and Lydia's knowledge and skills are rarely put to use. That is, until she embarks on a trip to London to visit her father, and is intercepted by a certain Mr. Huxley. Huxley claims to be an acquaintance of her father, sent to escort her to his side, but he seems suspicious. Lydia's suspicions are confirmed after a man claiming to have been held captive by Huxley leaps from her room's armoire and begs her to escape with him.
Bride's Story (Otoyomegatari)
Author: Kaoru Mori
Publisher: Yen Press
Brief Overview: Amir is a young woman of a nomadic tribe who's sent to live with her new husband, Karluk, and his family. She's somewhat old to be a bride - she's already 20 years old - and her new husband is 8 years her junior. As they begin their lives together, Amir adapts to her adoptive family's culture and begins to develop feelings of love for her young husband.
Thoughts: I'm a bit of a "follower" when it comes to manga. Though my awareness of what anime series are out there is pretty comprehensive, the manga field is so vast that it sometimes becomes overwhelming. Luckily, I have a network of manga experts who I admire and respect, so when a great majority of them begin to chime in with positive words on a particular series, I've learned to pay attention. The other day I began to hear a lot of praise for this book, a new hardcover release from Yen Press, so I made the decision to pick it up at my earliest convenience. This was definitely the right decision - though I'd been lacking sleep all week, once I picked this book up I wasn't able to put it down until I'd finished it, and by that time it was well past midnight (whoops!).
I'll Give It My All... Tomorrow
Author: Shunju Aono
Published by: VIZ Media under their Sig Ikki line.
Brief Overview: Shizuo is a forty-something father who quits his office job to indulge in what he thinks might be his passion - manga authorship. What he thinks may be an escape from the doldrums of a soul-sucking office life turns out to be more difficult than he imagined, forcing him to take a clear look at himself and his life's direction.