Kanae Minato
Kanae Minato has been dubbed the “Queen of Iyamisu” for her thrilling, grisly episodes and her ability to showcase the dark side of human nature.  “Confessions” was her first book and was published in 2008 and earned Kanae her first Japanese Booksellers Award.  A movie adaptation was filmed in 2010 that earned Best Picture at the 34th Japan Academy Prize and 53rd Blue Ribbon Awards and was shortlisted at the 83rd Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

“Confessions” follows middle school teacher Yuko Moriguchi and her quest for vengeance.  Her engagement to the man of her dreams failed and all she has left is her four year old daughter, Manami.  However, tragedy strikes and Manami is killed in an accident but the “accident” was really murder committed by two of her students.  Moriguchi knows who killed her beloved daughter and reveals their identities to the class but since they are minors, they are protected by the Juvenile Law of 1947. This, however, would not stop her from getting revenge; the class had been made to drink milk every day in a new health initiative and Moriguchi had been adding HIV positive blood from her ex fiancee to the two murderers’ drinks.

Watanabe Shuya, abused as a young boy by his mother and developed an Oedipus Complex after she left.

Shimomura Naoki, a boy who just wants to fit in and have a friend.

These two students are responsible for Manami’s murder and the rest of the book follows their story and how Moriguchi’s revenge plays out. It’s an absolutely fascinating first person narrative about the descent into paranoia and madness, as well as the extreme lengths a psycho with an Oedipus Complex will go in order to gain his mother’s attention.

I really enjoyed this book! I was kind of disappointed after the first chapter because everything seemed to have been wrapped up really quickly but I was not prepared for where the rest of the book would take me.  The twists and the absolutely poetic revenge made me unable to put the book down for even a minute! I was on a wild ride of emotions and was so blown away by the ending.  This one gets 5 stars from me and a very high recommendation!

~ Jordan

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