Welcome to week 1 of 告白!
As a reminder, this book is said to have a difficult opening and then become much easier to read after the first chapter. Please feel free to ask questions or catch up later if you feel this week and next week (which concludes chapter one) to be very challenging!
We are following the below schedule (page counts may vary based on your medium):
Week 1 - Up until star break. Sentence ending in 殺されたからです。- 9% / p.29 Week 2 - Through end of chapter 1 - 19% / p.61 Week 3 - Up until star break. Sentence ending in 救われた気分でした。- 28% / p. 87 Week 4 - Through end of chapter 2 - 38% / p. 119 Week 5 - Chapter 3 - 54% / p. 169 Week 6 - up until bolded section starting with 四歳児 - 64% / p. 196 Week 7 - through end of chapter 4 - 74% / p. 229 Week 8 - through end of book - 100% / p. 301
I will generally copy this information over thread to thread each week for ease of finding - you can always expect the schedule at the top of any weekly thread
Law and Order
Any reveals, for the current chapters must be behind spoilers or detail curtains. When we get further in you don’t need to hide details that were revealed in previous chapters.
Questions on vocab, grammar, nuance, and the like are both welcome and encouraged. If you’re not sure if it’s a spoiler, assume it is and use one of the above options to hide the text.
You are encouraged to speculate and guess wildly
Be kind about other peoples’ wild guesses
Even if you don’t read the chapter(s) in time, you are still encouraged to post in the thread for that reading once you have finished it. I advise not reading ahead in the threads as you may see spoilers.
To gauge participation - a poll!
Are you reading week 1?
Yes, I’m planning to read along/am reading along this week
I’m reading, but not at the same pace as the club
I had no intentions of reading the book, but I desire to click a poll
So. many. names.
That’s going to be difficult to keep track of while reading.
I’m enjoying the story so far, that last sentence makes me want to read next weeks portion right away. I wonder how she knows that though? So far it certainly looks like 愛美’s death was an accident.
I also looked up わたうさちゃん and the first picture I saw was creepier than expected, so now I’m lowkey suspecting the rabbit to be involved in this murder in some manner
I’m thinking I’ll second that idea. I don’t think a single reading was given for a name, either, which was making me sweat.
Anyhow, read this week’s portion this past weekend to get a jump on things. I was surprised how smoothly I read through it all. It didn’t feel like ~30 pages at all. Not sure if that’s reflective of my reading abilities or the author’s writing style or what, but it was nice. The setup’s pretty intriguing so far; I assume our protagonist is being questioned by the police. It also seems like the questioning is either being done by multiple people or is taking place over time, since she addresses different people in each section.
I’m already considering theories for motive for 愛美’s murder (if it was one). Accidental death? Possible, and it’s hard to say whether the mother would’ve enacted vengeance (as she seems to have already done?) if she knew it was accidental, even with student interference. Did the student(s) resent 愛美 for some reason? Too hard to tell at this point. I’m expecting a good motive, though, since it led to the death of a four-year-old (? I think she was that old, right?).
I’m also expecting a whole lot of school politics drama. I have a few family members in education-related jobs, and teacher drama is always #1 in their complaints. Now I’m wondering if the student(s) could’ve been put up to it by a teacher…
I assume our protagonist is being questioned by the police.
I thought she was talking to her students/people related to the incident and not the police.
When she was explaining what happened on that day she ended a lot of sentences with ね, like she’s just recounting something everyone should already know.
The only thing I could come up with for a motive was that someone misunderstood and thought 愛美 was HIV positive and thought they/someone they cared about got infected through her. But that doesn’t quite fit, since I don’t think 愛美 knew enough about her father’s condition to say something that might be misinterpreted like that, and if her mother talked about it she’d probably state the fact that neither of them are HIV positive clearly enough.
I also think the protagonist is talking to her class because of how she refers to so many other characters by name, either with ーさん or ーくん. I don’t think she would be on a first name basis with the police but to be fair I was also confused at the start, wondering who she was responding to.
As far the possible misunderstanding of 愛美 possibly being HIV positive, I think because of how the protagonist took great strides to hide the fact 愛美’s father had HIV that this might not be the case, e.g. not marrying him for fear of 愛美’s future interactions being difficult because of the association with HIV by proxy of being the daughter of someone with HIV. When she revealed that she had intercourse (性交) with the father, the class visibly squirmed which leads me to believe that the class did not know yet but I can’t say for sure. She had to tell a student sitting upfront that HIV wasn’t spreadable by air so they don’t have to stop their breathing (浜崎さん、一番前の席だからといって息は止めなくて結構です。）
I’ve liked what I’ve read so far and I’m excited to see how the story progresses. It’s really interesting to see the dialogue be pretty one-sided with the only insight of what the students say and how they react being reiterated by the protagonist herself.
I finished this week’s reading and I found it surprisingly smooth given the warnings about this first chapter I’d read. I will say that many other things I’ve read recently are similar ‘stream of consciousness’ style so perhaps my brain is just primed for it.
Also yes, she’s 100% talking to her students. She references the way she chooses to talk to them, talks about how they may think badly of her reasons for going into education, scolds them and so on.
So far we’ve covered:
Compulsory milk drinking (how I would have hated that as a child. I hate(d) milk.)
A transgender teacher being tricked into a compromising situation
Her daughter’s father having HIV which led to her not marrying him
The care arrangements in the past and recent past (leading to the death) of her daughter
That she thinks one her students is the murderer
Honestly not bad for an introduction! I’m very much looking forward to how this builds up. No theories from me as to why her daughter was killed. Could have been a prank gone wrong, could have a sex crime, could have been some kind of vengeance.
I’ll update the name wiki with names shortly, got a handful more.
This would be a crazy callback to what, so far, feels like a throwaway criticism of experimental homogenization in school but I am here for this theory.
Also, as grotesque as the new cover is, I VASTLY prefer it to the Kindle cover, which feels so bland in comparison. The new cover at least lets you know the stakes are pretty high and is overall so much more striking.
Ohhh, I think this was turned into a film a few years back! I read the plot of the film then so I will keep quiet and just lurk on the forums I actually decided not to read this anyway, although I love a mystery, a plot with a kid dying just felt too sad to me. I am intrigued to see what everyone makes of it!
It is in the summary + revealed well before the end of chapter 1. I think might also have been a content warning on the book if not I’ll have to check over the nominations and make sure those are present.
I personally will nope out at animal cruelty so I always peek the content warnings.
Thank you I can be very ignorant about book summaries and stuff, at least if somebody recommends a book to me or if it is a book club pick (both of which happened here). Not much harm done but I figured there might be more people like me…
Ah I see. I was just pretty surprised when I read that. Maybe I’d read it before and forgotten…
If the possibility of the plot being too sad is what stops you from reading, it might help you to know that I didn’t find the book sad at all, apart from maybe a small part in the beginning when the incident is first described. After that, it gets more brutal and twisted than sad. Of course, your mileage may vary, but at least the book doesn’t focus too much on the incident itself or its emotional aftermath.
I don’t think I’ll be able to read this week, but I’ll catch up… work is really busy and I am seriously jet lagged. (This is kinda new. Usually I was fine returning from Japan, but last and this year, I am really struggling. Guess I’m going to bed now… it’s 9:15 pm… )
But those spoiler tags are really tempting… can’t wait to click on them.