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“Confessions” by Kanae Minato

A stellar mystery. It was such a page-turner that I read it straight to the end in one-go. As the title suggests, this story begins with a confession of a teacher whose career of 7 years ends abruptly after her 4-year-old daughter died. It unfolds centering this enigmatic death. It is explained by different “confessions” of each character. This structure reminded me of “In a Grove” by Ryunosuke Akutagawa.

This story made me reflect on so many things: what is a mother to a child?; is a “dedicated” teacher a good teacher?; who is to blame for somebody’s perversion? It is in part inspired by famous serial killings of a 14-year-old (Boy A) in the late 1990s.

Mr. Ryunouske Kuroda, whom I admire, once recommended this book for Japanese learners. Minato’s Japanese is crisp, straightforward, and worth emulating. If you are a Japanese learner and want to read a book in Japanese, I would recommend it!

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