Making Jam in the Woods: My Relaxing Life Starts in Another World, Vol. 2

By Kosuzu Kobato and Yuichi Murakami. Released in Japan as “Mori no Hotori de Jam wo Niru: Isekai de Hajimeru Slow Life” by Kadokawa Books. Released in North America by Cross Infinite World. Translated by Jade Willis.

(Slight spoilers for the last part of this book are in the third paragraph, FYI.)

I have some good news for those who were concerned about the content of the first volume: there is a lot more actual making of jam in this book. Mostly that’s because everyone in the local town has embraced Margaret as one of the best things that’s ever happened to them, so she keeps getting presents of fruit that will go bad unless she does something about it. Or when she’s picking berries with Rachel, who of course comes back to visit as soon as humanly possible, and said berries also have to be eaten fairly quickly. The lack of really long-term fridges and freezers in this world means you can’t dilly dally about these things. That said, for those who require a bit more plot than just cooking and preserving, there’s some of that as well, including some sweet romance and a very surprising revelation about Margaret’s being called to this world.

Margaret is still living with Adelaide, making delicious food, helping out in town with the kids, and trying to heal up from her injuries… though her leg unfortunately seems to have plateaued. There are important new discoveries, though: when she bonks heads with a small toddler, the toddler can hear her thoughts! It turns out that she can also do this with others, though with adults it has to be people she’s very close to. Meanwhile, she’s still not really well enough to go to the Royal Capital and visit the Spirit, but Walter is being called to the Spirit instead, and while there he ends up learning something that will possibly stun Margaret and her friends. Oh yes, and, most importantly, Mark basically proposes to Margaret… though there’s a bit of “huh, I was unaware this custom of receiving an expensive hairpins from the man I want to spend my life with is a thing” to it.

So yes, the big news here is that Margaret’s calling was premature and also not intended, which is one big reason why her leg isn’t going to heal and she’s still mute. I’ve seen the “we didn’t mean to isekai you to our world” plotline before, but it’s honestly usually pretty malevolent, involving “so therefore we will either try to kill you or toss you out with nothing but your clothing”, so seeing something like this where everyone is desperately worried about Margaret is nice. Fortunately for all involved, Margaret is a big sweetie, and is even more grateful she’s hear at all and living with such wonderful people. She’s making jam, she has a fiancee (possibly… she really isn’t quite comfortable with saying that out loud just yet), and she’s even writing children’s books based on old fairy tales from back in her previous life. The fact that she’s not the Chosen One is honestly a relief.

I think the next volume may be the last one, but am not sure. In any case, this remains a very fun, if not terribly action-packed, slow life romance series.

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