Here’s the summary from Tapas:
They called her the Iron Widow. When her husband died, he left her to manage not only his vast holdings but also his four children. Young and inexperienced, Shuri nonetheless tried her best to raise them, despite their bitter attitude towards her. She is finally free to live her own life as her eldest son marries… only to find herself mysteriously reset to seven years ago—the night of her husband’s funeral. Can Shuri find happiness with this second chance at a new destiny?
I love a good reincarnation/second-chance romance webtoon and when one of my Twitter followers recommended The Fantasie of a Stepmother to me last week… I just knew I had to dive into it. In this webtoon, a young woman named Shuri (in the localization) enters into a contract marriage with an older man seeking to give her freedom and have his family protected in his absence as he’s dying from illness. The thing is, that she’s a nervous girl who doesn’t handle the hatred from her new stepchildren or the merciless sharklike nature of the nobles around her and so, in her first life, she’s only successful on the surface. Because of miscommunications and manipulations, Shuri’s step-children appear to hate her deeply and, as a result she leaves them and is murdered on behalf of a nefarious figure.
When she awakens several years back in her past, she decides that she’s going to do things differently, focusing on herself and trying to figure out where to go from the start to fix their relationships. It’s just so incredible to read Shuri recognize the issues in how she handled events in the past and try to fix them now. The art is beautiful, by the way. Just, incredible. And I really love the way that the story unfolds, including a part that looks at life after Shuri’s death and how the world changes for the worst as a result.
The Fantasie of a Stepmother is an incredible, very moving story about a mother’s love and how it’s going to change the world. It’s easily in my top ten of webtoon reads of 2022 because I love the characters and the setting.