Title- A Bride's Story.
Author- Kaoru Mori.
Publish date- 2009.
Publisher- Yen Press.
(A Brief) Synopsis:
The stories of women- just married, to be married, widowed- an English doctor meets as he travels the Silk Trail in 19th century China.
What I thought:
After finishing Ouran it was pretty difficult for me to get into a new manga. Two failed, a bunch didn't interest me, and I wasn't sure about A Bride's Story when I started it; it was quick, which I always like, but I knew nothing about it and didn't really know what was oging on.
Essesntially, this is a series set around an English man travelling along the Silk Road in 19th century China and the clans he meets. He isn't the focus, although when he moves along the story follows him. The women are the focus, and it gives a really unique- and, for me, new- insight into that life.
It's informative and sections explain the land, although for me the story is enough for that not to be necessary, even if it is interesting and so well researched.
It follows new bride Amir in the first two volumes and oh, how I love her. She is so unconscious, affectionate, determined, loyal and capable, if not necessarily sure of her place and roles. She is eighteen and considered old, to have been married, and she is thrust into a world and marriage she doesn't really have a link with. But the family welcomes her and cherishes her, and the entire support dynamic was so heartwarming and fantastic. They protect each other, show Amir the ropes, learn from her and each other.
I wasn't sure how I would feel with the marriage theme, as a whole, since it's quite confronting. Amir marries a twelve year old boy, in the very first volume, and it shocked me. But their slow burning friendship, the way they take time and are shy of each other but also so caring- it's more like a really emotionally connected friendship, at this stage, than a romance.
In the third and fourth volumes we meet a woman who falls in love with the englishman and twins on a quest to find husbands, and I wasn't thrilled at having left Amir, although she returns every now and then. The third volume took a long while to pick up, but then it was incredibly emotional, where as I immediately enjoyed the twins' perspective, hyper and intense and slightly terrifying as they are.
My favourite thing about the whole series is that it is just drawn so intricately, so much care and detail being put into every frame. The gorgeous clothing and furnishings, the design of each and every character (real bodies with thighs and stomachs!). If the story didn't invest me as it does, the art would surely still hold my attention firmly.
This is stunning, interesting and enlightening.