Goodreads ratings
4.08 / 5

"Confessions" Summary

By Kanae Minato

mystery | 341 pages | Published in NaN

Augustine's Confessions is one of the most influential and most innovative works of Latin literature. Written in the author's early forties in the last years of the fourth century A.D. and during his first years as a bishop, they reflect on his life and on the activity of remembering and interpreting a life. Books I-IV are concerned with infancy and learning to talk, schooldays, sexual desire and adolescent rebellion, intense friendships and intellectual exploration. Augustine evolves and analyses his past with all the resources of the reading which shaped his mind: Virgil and Cicero, Neoplatonism and the Bible. This volume, which aims to be usable by students who are new to Augustine, alerts readers to the verbal echoes and allusions of Augustine's brilliant and varied Latin, and explains his theological and philosophical questioning of what God is and what it is to be human. The edition is intended for use by students and scholars of Latin literature, theology and Church history.


Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A mother seeks revenge on the students responsible for her daughter's death.


"Confessions" by Kanae Minato is a chilling and thought-provoking Japanese thriller that delves into the dark and twisted motivations behind the actions of its characters. The novel is a gripping exploration of revenge, guilt, and the complexities of human nature. Set in a middle school in Japan, the story unfolds through a series of confessions from different characters, each revealing a layer of the disturbing events that have taken place. With a narrative that is both psychologically intense and emotionally compelling, "Confessions" challenges the reader to question their own moral compass and the consequences of their actions.

Brief Synopsis

The plot of "Confessions" revolves around the aftermath of a tragic incident at a middle school in Japan. Yuko Moriguchi, a teacher at the school, delivers a shocking confession to her students on the last day of the term. She reveals that her four-year-old daughter, Manami, was murdered by two of her students. Devastated by the loss of her child and disillusioned by the justice system, Moriguchi announces her resignation and shares her plan for revenge.


The story primarily takes place in and around a middle school in Japan, providing a claustrophobic and intense backdrop for the unfolding events. The school environment becomes a microcosm of the characters' emotional turmoil and the societal pressures that drive their actions.

Main Characters

The novel features several key characters, each with their own complex motivations and moral dilemmas.

Yuko MoriguchiA teacher seeking revenge for her daughter's murder, she is driven by grief and a desire for justice.
Manami MoriguchiYuko's four-year-old daughter, whose murder sets the events of the novel in motion.
Shuya WatanabeOne of the students responsible for Manami's murder, he grapples with his guilt and the consequences of his actions.
Naoki ShimomuraThe other student involved in Manami's murder, he becomes entangled in a web of deception and manipulation.

Story Points Over Chapters

Chapter 1-3: Moriguchi's Confession

Yuko Moriguchi delivers a shocking confession to her students, revealing the details of her daughter's murder and her decision to resign from her teaching position. She introduces the concept of her "plan" for revenge, setting the stage for the unfolding drama.

Chapter 4-6: Shuya's Perspective

Shuya Watanabe, one of the students responsible for Manami's murder, provides his perspective on the events leading up to the tragedy. His narration exposes the toxic dynamics and hidden resentments within the school environment.

Chapter 7-9: Naoki's Deception

Naoki Shimomura, the other student involved in Manami's murder, shares his version of the events. His narrative reveals a web of lies, manipulation, and the disturbing motivations behind the crime.

Chapter 10-12: The Aftermath

The aftermath of Moriguchi's confession and her plan for revenge unfolds, leading to a series of chilling and morally ambiguous confrontations between the characters. The novel builds towards a tense and emotionally charged climax.

Main Events

  1. Moriguchi's confession to her students about her daughter's murder and her resignation.
  2. Shuya's perspective on the events leading up to the tragedy, exposing the toxic dynamics within the school.
  3. Naoki's deceptive narration, revealing the web of lies and manipulation surrounding the crime.
  4. The aftermath of Moriguchi's confession, leading to morally ambiguous confrontations and the unfolding of her revenge plan.

Themes and Insights

Revenge and Justice

The novel explores the theme of revenge and the blurred lines between justice and personal vendettas. Moriguchi's quest for vengeance raises profound questions about the nature of retribution and the consequences of seeking payback.

Guilt and Responsibility

The characters grapple with intense guilt and the weight of their actions, highlighting the moral complexities of their decisions. The novel delves into the psychological impact of guilt and the human capacity for self-deception.

Deception and Manipulation

The narrative exposes the pervasive nature of deception and manipulation, as characters navigate a web of lies and hidden motivations. The novel challenges the reader to question the authenticity of the characters' confessions and the truth behind their actions.

Societal Pressures

"Confessions" sheds light on the pressures and expectations imposed by society, particularly within the school environment. The characters' actions are influenced by societal norms and the desire to conform, leading to devastating consequences.

Reader's Takeaway

"Confessions" is a haunting and psychologically gripping novel that delves into the darkest corners of the human psyche. The story's intricate web of confessions, deception, and revenge will leave readers pondering the moral and ethical dilemmas presented in the narrative. As the characters' conflicting perspectives unfold, the novel challenges readers to confront their own beliefs about justice, guilt, and the complexities of human nature.


Kanae Minato's "Confessions" is a compelling and intense exploration of the human capacity for revenge, guilt, and deception. Through a series of chilling confessions, the novel peels back the layers of its characters' motivations, leaving a lasting impression on the reader. As the narrative unfolds within the confines of a middle school, the story's themes resonate on a universal level, prompting readers to contemplate the profound moral and ethical questions it raises.

Confessions FAQ

  1. What is 'Confessions' about?

    Confessions is a psychological thriller about a middle school teacher, Yuko Moriguchi, who seeks revenge for the death of her daughter. The story delves into themes of betrayal, guilt, and the darkness that can reside within people.

  2. Who is the author of 'Confessions'?

    Kanae Minato is the author of 'Confessions'. She is a Japanese writer known for her psychological thrillers and has received critical acclaim for her work.

  3. Is 'Confessions' a standalone novel or part of a series?

    Confessions is a standalone novel. It is a self-contained story and does not have any direct sequels or prequels.

  4. What genre does 'Confessions' fall into?

    'Confessions' falls into the genre of psychological thriller and suspense. It is known for its intense and thought-provoking narrative.

  5. Is 'Confessions' suitable for young readers?

    Due to its mature themes and content, 'Confessions' is more suitable for adult readers. It contains elements that may not be appropriate for younger audiences.