Book Review: Confessions by Kanae Minato

“Human beings have a fundamental need for physical and emotional space, and the desire to extinguish another life can arise when the boundaries of that space are violated.”
  • Rating: 5
  • Published in: August 2014
  • Read in: November 2020

Book Review: Confessions by Kanae Minato

Single mother and middle school teacher Yuko Moriguchi’s 4-year old daughter tragically dies after an apparent accident at the school she works at. Following the tragedy, Yuko decides to hand in her resignation, but not before she gives one final lecture that will change the lives of two of her students forever and set in motion her genius plot for revenge.

I’m on a bit of a Japanese literature kick lately, although I think it’s going to become a long love affair of epic proportions. I love the deep, moody, melancholic atmosphere that seems to be prevalent in it. There is just something about it that draws me in. Confessions has a lot of that with the added touch of some serious revenge.

I love a good psychological thriller. I also love stories told from different points of view. This novel has both of these things and I loved every page of it.

I know a lot of people think that multiple views is a tad overdone, but it was done very masterfully in this novel. Every new point of view added twists and answered previous questions I had from the point of view before it. Every assumption I made, every time I thought I understood what happened, the next person would throw that all up in the air.

I think Yuko’s lecture is one of the best openings to a book I’ve read, actually maybe the best opening chapter of any book I’ve read. The lecture, full of anger, grief and despair (which she delivered in an eerily calm way), was absolutely unlike anything I’ve ever read. It was the very definition of chilling. When she got to the end of her speech, I genuinely gasped.

From chapter 2 onwards you witness the devastating domino effect of Yuko’s lecture and get a glimpse into the minds of some sadistic, narcissistic individuals. Fair warning, none of the characters are black and white, just like in real life. I sometimes had to remind myself not to feel sympathy for certain characters.

I read this book in 2 days. At no point in the book did I feel like it was dragging, it was all go from beginning to end. Page after page there was some new insight into the minds of the characters and their behaviours, and a new part of the revenge plot taking effect, right up until the final page.

I give this book a 5/5. I adore it and I believe anyone who likes to be taken on a dark, psychological, revenge-filled journey will too.

Buy the book on Amazon.