*A Bride’s Story Book 5 — Recommended

When I realized that a new volume of A Bride’s Story, my current favorite manga series, had come out FOUR months ago and I hadn’t read it yet, I knew the last few months had been busier than they should be. Yet the positive side of that is … new Bride’s Story!

The twins, Laila and Leily, are getting married, which gives Kaoru Mori ample reason to draw beautiful historical garments and portray many customary preparations for the celebration, including butchering a sheep. So many panels are silent, visual feasts, full of beautiful sights to ponder.

The twins, as you’d expect from rambunctious young women, have trouble sitting still for the hours on end required of the ceremony. They also have to come to terms with leaving their large family to become part of another household. These simple, universal emotions form the basis for touching, amusing incidents that demonstrate just how much their prospective grooms care for them, in spite of everything. I felt as though I was a guest at the lavish wedding, joining in celebration of them starting new lives.

Amir, the lead from the first volumes, returns in a late chapter told through gorgeously illustrated single-page images of daily life. There’s also a side story about the grumpy matriarch and a wonderful short tale of Amir rescuing a wounded hawk.

I’ve kept the description minimal, because so much of the appeal of this series is in the experience, allowing the skilled art to convey the reader to another time and place. It’s the best kind of manga, the kind of comic that shows you what it would be like to be someone else in a different kind of life. (The publisher provided a review copy.)

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