My Brother's Husband, Vol. 1

A death in the family will always leave an empty place in someone's heart. Yaichi knows this well: both of his parents died in a freak car accident, leaving him and his twin, Ryo, to look after one another. In the years following, the brothers slowly became estranged, and then Ryo left Tokyo. Yaichi, now a single father of an energetic girl named Kana, has all but hidden his painful past when Canadian Mike Flanagan arrives on his doorstep as Ryo's grieving widower.

Gengoroh Tagame's beautiful manga novel My Brother's Husband disentangles family secrets and homophobia with endearing grace. Though her father is reluctant to open his home and heart to Mike, Kana is eager to learn everything about Canada and the uncles she never knew she had. The two share a mutual fascination with each other's culture, and bond instantly. Yaichi, however, wrestles with preconceptions about what it means for men to love each other, reservations that Kana's boundless curiosity disarms at every turn.

Tagame reins in his trademark erotic style for this heartwarming story without being disingenuous. Yaichi and Mike boast impressive physiques, a quality the former never tried to hide until his brother-in-law arrived. "I always tell him to put on clothes," Kana tells Mike with exasperation. The wildly expressive girl alternately shouts and pouts through her growing empathy for people restricted in the ways they can live and love.

Thoughtful and fetching, My Brother's Husband is the first in a two-volume omnibus about grief, reconciliation and the strength to be who you are. --Dave Wheeler, associate editor, Shelf Awareness

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