Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Book Review: "My Brother's Husband" by Gengoroh Tagame

I had all the feels for this amazing graphic novel, told in traditional Japanese manga style (read in the opposite direction of traditional books).

Yaichi is a single father, dutifully raising his young daughter Kana. One day, a visitor arrives: Mike, a bearish Canadian man who was the husband of Ryoji, Yaichi’s estranged twin brother. Ryoji had always promised he’d show Mike the area in Japan where he grew up, and although he died, Mike is determined to see those places anyway.

Mike’s arrival stirs up questions and emotions. Kana didn’t even know she had an uncle, much less one who died. And men marrying other men? That doesn’t happen in Japan. Does that really happen in other places?

Yaichi must deal with his unresolved feelings toward his brother and his sexuality. Mike is just so unapologetically open about everything, which is in sharp contrast to Japanese culture, and Yaichi isn’t sure how he feels about the whole “gay thing.” But the longer Mike stays with them, the more Yaichi realizes that HE is the one whose thinking must change, for Kana’s sake, and if he wants to have any sort of relationship with Mike in the future. Plus, he sees things through the openness of Kana's viewpoint.

My Brother's Husband is such a sweet, beautiful story. The book I have has all four volumes in one, but it was an easy read I couldn’t put down. I totally was waiting for melodramatic things to happen but then I remembered that’s not the way things often happen in Japan.

I loved this story of family and love and acceptance!

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