Sand Chronicles v.1 by Hinako Ashihara – 200 pages
The sand in the title refers to the passage of time, like sand in an hourglass, a symbol that figures throughout the first volume of this manga. Told in flashback, young Ann moves with her mother into her grandmother’s house in the snowy ancestral village. Ann makes some friends, but her mother has difficulties, and weak and haunted by the past, goes away alone to die. As Ann ages into her teenage years, romance begins to blossom among her and her group of friends. Equal parts humorous and sad, Sand Chronicles reflects on the choices we make, and how they can lead us to regret over the passage of time. Happy moments that cannot be regained live on as memories. Expressive characters display a wide range of feeling in a moving story of growing up.