The Color of Water – Kim Dong Hwa
In this second volume of a coming-of-age manwha trilogy, Ehwa hopes that her third romance will be the charm. When she catches the eye of a young wrestler named Duksam, she begins to think he may be the right one for her–but she still has some growing up to do, and learns that love is always complicated.
It seems like not very long ago at all that I was reading The Color of Earth, and wishing fervently for the next book, and now here it is! The Color of Water has that sort of slow flowing quality that many middle books in a trilogy have; the story is neither beginning nor ending, but must support the weight of those two opposites. You’ve done that quite steadily in this book; Ehwa is growing up, and we see her mother in a new light now–less the wise older woman and more an older sister, someone who knows what love is, but pines for her picture-man just as Ehwa pines for Duksam. You also hint at the future, making me think that perhaps Duksam will be the one that she marries, though there is clearly adversity to be overcome before that can happen.
As with the first book, I loved your fluid artwork and the peaceful, simple setting of the story. I found, though, that as Ehwa gets older, I became a little more aware of my own displeasure with the role of women in her time and place. There’s nothing to be done about it–it’s a cultural difference, in an older time, and since it’s based on a real person, there’s not much you can do but tell the story true. You do make it beautiful, and you certainly appeal to my femme side with the flower fragrances and delicate prose, but my feminist side was still more bothered by this book than the previous one. Still, there’s nothing to be done about it, and I’m still extremely fond of both books and can’t wait for the third. Five stars again, for beautiful art and a lovely story, and for making me think.