By : Rike Rahayu
Translator : Jeammy Rodjas
Armed with “compatibility” with the first Minato Kanae book I read (Confessions), without doubt I bought Penance. The story is about the murder of a grade 4 elementary school child in a small village. The four friends of the murdered child were key witnesses, but none of their testimonies could help the investigation until the culprit was caught. Three years later, the mother of the child who was killed reunited these four children, and gave a threat so that they look for the culprit, or equal compensation. The story in this novel takes 15 years after the murder …
When reading Penance, there are some similarities with the Confessions that I feel: The writing style of one chapter one POV, and the main event involving children. However, that does not mean the plot is predictable and similar. Not really. From the start, when I read a story from one of the characters, I was left wondering because the story style was gray. This is being told directly or not which will be answered at the end of the chapter
The plot of the story is able to lock attention, because for me, there is no part that feels boring. I was presented with stories from each character version 15 years ago to the current version.
The aspects I like most about this novel are the characters. Again, Minato Kanae showed his expertise in creating characters: Imperfect humans. Humans with their words. Humans are trapped in their minds. Humans are bound to the past, and humans with various forms of behavior. This exciting thriller makes me hope that there will be more works by Minato Kanae that will be translated into Indonesian by the publishers of the day. Another great read that I enjoy!
Content warning: Portrayal of child abuse. The vivid descriptions are only in a few pages, but still, you gotta be careful, especially if you’re not comfortable reading this kind of content.