Headstrong Yukiko and her mother Mari have lived together ever since Yukiko's father died when she was a little girl. Now about to turn thirty, Yukiko finds her world turned on its side when, following a serious illness, Mari suddenly informs her daughter she has remarried...to a man three years younger than her daughter. To say that Yukiko is less than thrilled at this announcement would be something of an understatement.
Aw, the first tale in this collection of stories orbiting Yukiko and her friends and family made my eyes weepy. The mother-daughter dynamic is subtle and funny and heartwarming, and Ken, Yukiko's new "dad," quickly earns the reader's trust along with Yukiko's as her suspicions turn to grudging acknowledgment of his good nature, good intentions, and good influence on her careworn mother. The other sometimes funny, sometimes moving, always unpredictable stories link back to Yukiko and her mom and Ken over food as characters drop by for dinner or meet at a bar or sit together at a funeral meal and share their current worries and joys and gossip (bonding over food shows up often in Yoshinaga's work). The art is graceful and classy and clean-lined, the characters quirky and engaging, and the stories fun, original, and thought-provoking, all of which just further justifies my Yoshinaga love and admiration and makes me want to get my hands on more of her books.