Married Under the Italian Sun by Lucy Gordon and Mayu Takayama: B-

When Angela—an actress who’s been playing a “dumb bimbo” called Angel for eight years—is jilted by her wealthy husband, she’s too weary to battle his lawyers and instead accepts an Italian villa for a divorce settlement. Upon moving to Amalfi, she meets Vittorio, the former owner who assumes a lot of negative things about her character, given the life she comes from, only to eventually be proven wrong when she makes sacrifices for the sake of the villa’s lemon grove and opens up to him about her background.

The relationship between Angela and Vittorio is rather shallow, but I suppose that’s what happens when a full-length novel is condensed into a short manga like this one. It’s entertaining for the most part, but sometimes they behave inexplicably seemingly only for the purpose of putting an obstacle in the way of their just being happy together. There’s also a pretty unusual twist on the love triangle idea, resulting in some amusing scenes of the unlikely threesome sightseeing together.

Mayu Takayama’s art is fairly attractive, though pages have a tendency to look a bit too busy when depicting the villa and its grounds. My main quibble with the visual presentation of the book is actually not the lettering—which, as other bloggers have noted, doesn’t even try to fit into the word balloons—but with the grammar problems in the text. Sometimes these are minor (“Can’t… breath…”), but sometimes they affect the meaning of what’s being said: “I think I will thank you” and “I think I will, thank you” mean two different things to me.

As a final note… guess what never happens in this book, despite its title?

Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.

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