My Happy Marriage, Vol. 1

By Akumi Agitogi and Tsukiho Tsukioka. Released in Japan as “Watashi no Shiawase na Kekkon” by Fujimi L Bunko. Released in North America Yen On. Translated by Kiki Piatkowska.

Brief content warning: this book features an abusive family, and unlike other light novels we’ve seen to date in this genre, they do not vanish after the first 20 pages. The marriage, though, is not abusive.

It’s rare that a book affects me so much that I think to myself that I may have to drop another, similar series for being thoroughly inadequate, but that’s sort of how I feel. After reading the first volume of My Happy Marriage, I suspect any time I try to get back into I’ll Never Set Foot in That House Again!, a book with a very similar premise, I will come away thinking it shallow and boorish. Because My Happy Marriage is wonderfully written but also amazingly painful, the story of a woman who has spent most of her life being thoroughly abused by her family suddenly finding herself in a marriage that turns out to be the best thing that ever happened to her… and feeling that she doesn’t deserve any of it. Miyo’s pain and suffering suffuses this first volume.

Seemingly set in a Meiji-period Japan where some families have superpowers, this is the story of Miyo Saimori. Hers is a Cinderella story, but that also means it starts out the way Cinderella’s does as well – after her mother dies and her father remarries, she’s despised by her stepmother, and her younger sister is raised to hate her as well, particularly as she seemingly has no powers of her own. She has a maid on her side… till the maid is fired. She has a childhood friend who has a crush on her… but he’s too cowardly to do anything. She’s reduced to worse than a servant. So when she’s suddenly told she’ll be engaged to the powerful Kiyoka Kudou, she doesn’t know what to think. He’s been looking for a bride for some time, and has rejected all of them. Will Miyo be what he really needs? And can he possibly help her out of the deep pit of self-loathing and despair that is her life?

This book is very compelling but also very hard to read, as you are drenched in Miyo’s POV, and she is an abused woman. Despite being taken to Kiyoko’s house near the start of the book, we continue to focus on her family, who are losing power and influence and desperate to get it back. Fortunately, once she gets to Kiyoko’s house, she does start to have some allies. Kiyoko is, as his reputation says, cold and dismissive at first, but that’s mostly because he’s had a succession of women after his position and power. In fact, once he opens up to Miyo he becomes quite the loving fiancee. His elderly maid is also wonderful, and the first person that Miyo really opens up to. As for her supposed lack of power… it’s heavily implied in this book that she does indeed have strong powers, and that they just awaken late (something her mother was trying to get across to her father before she died). I suspect future books will go into this.

I also hope that future books will better try to match the title of the series. I want to read more of My Happy Marriage, but that’s mostly as I really want to see the happy part. This was good setup, and very much needed to get a good look into Miyo’s psyche, but it’s not what I would call a “light” novel. (Actually, given there are no internal illustrations, it probably should be classified as a light novel at all.)

Did you enjoy this article? Consider supporting us.

Speak Your Mind