By Leroy Douresseaux
January 20, 2010 - 10:19
|All My Darling Daughters cover image is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com.|
Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
Created by Fumi Yoshinaga, All My Darling Daughters is a collection of five interconnected short stories. The nexus of this connection is Yukiko Kisaragi, a 30-something salarywoman, and her mother, Mari, with whom she lives. Yukiko objects to her mother’s relationship and eventual marriage to Ken Ohashi, a man who is not only younger than Yukiko, but also works at a host club. Convinced that Ken is only after her mother’s money, Yukiko moves out and moves in with her boyfriend, Jun Takayashiki.
From that point on, All My Darling Daughters follows family, friends, and associates connected in one way or another to Yukiko and Mari. These characters include Kiyotaka Izumi, a college instructor caught in a creepy relationship with a student; Tomoe Saeki and Yuko Makimura, two childhood pals of Yukiko; and Mari’s own mother, from whom she is somewhat estranged.
THE LOWDOWN: For the most part, All My Darling Daughters is a frothy ensemble drama with both shojo manga (comics for teen girls) and josei manga (comics for adult women) leanings. Reading it can sometimes be like watching a soapy drama on television (Lifetime, anyone?). However, Yoshinaga is a master of insight, familial relationships, and human behavior, and this insight in behavior gives this book a poignant ending that makes the volume worth reading.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Fans of Fumi Yoshinaga will want All My Darling Daughters.