Hanako's love for her favorite author moves her to travel from Japan to England in the early 1900s, in search of more information and potentially studying under him. To her disappointment, the author is extremely secretive, and the publisher won't release any details. Alice Douglas, a noblewoman, takes pity on Hanako's plight and offers her a job as her personal maid. They both share a love for this hermit of an author, so Alice offers Hanako a place to stay and employment while she waits for the author to make contact. Alice is also betrothed to a kind English gentlemen, but that doesn't stop the rumors from flying. Many warn Alices' fiancé to intervene between Alice and Hanako before there becomes a repeat situation - Alice becoming too close and too friendly with her maidservant.
This first volume succeeds in transporting the reader to 1900s England and its society with strict moral codes. Dr. Pepperco leaves breadcrumbs very early on that Alice and Hanako might have a deepening relationship beyond friends or employer/employee, so it's not entirely a shock when the two become very close. However, their infatuation with each other is so sweet and pure that it's refreshing. This will definitely be a slow-burn, however, as by the end of the first volume, Alice makes it very clear that she cannot go down that path again with Hanako as she did with a previous servant, so this will definitely be a relationship that develops over several volumes. This is a beautiful lesbian relationship story that, like the time period, is fairly chaste.
Dr. Pepperco's illustrations fully explore the lushness of the time period. Dresses are extremely detailed and layered. Alice's home is luxurious as you would expect from an English noble. It is easy to get lost in the beautiful drawings while enjoying this sweet story.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 8-12
Publisher: Seven Seas
Publication Date: April 14, 2020
ISBN: 9781645052913 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Manga, LGBTQ+, Historical Fiction, Romance, Seven Seas
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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