According to Wikipedia, one critic called this novel the “Gone Girl of Japan”, which is interesting because it was originally punished in 2008, four years before Gillian Flynn’ s most popular novel.
At any rate, they both fall into the iyamisu category of fiction, which is Japanese for “eww mystery”, and is reserved for the deliberately shocking form of storytelling familiar to anyone who has read Gone Girl (which is most of us). If you take nothing else from this review – please incorporate that into your lexicon, I think we’ll all be better for it.
Confessions is told from multiple perspectives, in the uncommon second perspective, and details the murder of a school teacher’s four year old daughter by a couple middle school kids. The teacher, Yuko Moriguchi, tells her class that she is resigning, and that it is because two of the students in the class were responsible for what happened to her daughter. She also tells them that the child’s father is a renown writer who has AIDs, and that she has spiked the milk of those two students with some of his blood. She also provides the class with enough hints as to their identities that everyone knows who they are. This is the first chapter of the book, and is only the beginning of the revenge she has laid out before her students.
Truthfully, I was pretty interested in the premise of the book (though I’m not sure what that says about me), but its actual execution left much to be desired. I hated the perspectives from which it was told. I can handle first person, but prefer third. I’ve never before read one from the second perspective…..and I absolutely detested it. I found it contrived and distracting. Which is a shame, because this book would be a solid 4 stars if Minato had chosen to write it in a more typical perspective. Though I think she falls into the trap of writing children who sound like adults, it’s not an egregious mistake because they have severe enough limitations for them to come off as fairly immature. The forward momentum is pretty consistent throughout the novel, even when the narrative shifts to different perspectives. And the book never really loses the momentum it has in that first chapter.
Overall, this is a very good book written in a style that just happened to annoy me. If you can get over that, though (and don’t mind iyamisu fiction), this book is worth checking out.
Reviewed in February by ElCicco, who gave it 4 stars. She wrote a wonderful review. Seriously, it’s a lot better than mine. Go read it.