The tale of love, loss, and immortal determination captures the heart and mind in a swift grasp. The grace of the prose, even in its Western flow, mimics the delicacy of vertical lines of kanji as painted by the hand of an expert calligrapher, itself evocative of the dripping willow boughs that give the story its name.
Often love is symbolized with tropes of duality and parity. This romance, however, is a tale of unity that focuses on the mutual transcendence that occurs when two souls connect. The shared culture of romance is transferred through poetry and music, as intangible as love, and every bit as captivating.
Though bite sized, The Willows Sigh is more deeply satisfying fare than mere amuse-bouche. Weaving between mythic adventure and historical romance, Vanhee captures the feudal elegance of the samurai era and distills from it a sweet wine whose top notes hint of the tale of Orpheus.