xxxHOLiC is the story of Kimihiro Watanuki, a high-school student who can see spirits (and they are generally interested in him). One day, he finds himself in the shop of Yûko Ichihara, who grants wishes for a price. She agrees to take this ability away from him once he has paid the price; Watanuki ends up as her housekeeper/cook/assistant, and finds himself dealing directly with spirits and other weird things. I posted a longer description of the series here.
The volume starts off with Yûko in a bathing suit (it is summer); a neko-musume (cat daughter?) comes to the shop complaining about the heat; Yûko gives her a hat that will help her stay cool; her payment is to guide Watanuki to a place where there is well water that has never been near a pipe. Watanuki and eventually Dômeki fetch water for Yûko over several days; Watanuki promises Himawari that he will not work too hard with a pinky-swear; this is the catalyst for the events in the rest of the volume.
This particular volume is mostly concerned with the question of Himawari; it has been obvious from the beginning that there is something odd about her, and it is eventually revealed. Her secret is a bit anti-climatic, but I’m glad to know what it was. Watanuki is definitely changing; his reaction to the events of this volume are very different than what they would have been even a few volumes ago.
This is one of my favorite volumes so far, mostly due to the revelation of Himawari’s secret and the obvious growth of Watanuki’s character. I’m probably going to reread the rest soon; there were a couple of references to earlier events that I don’t really remember (the person who looked like Syaoran and Dômeki’s grandfather).