It is the naked immersion into the cultural and gender clashes that emerge in Montserrat Fontes’ ‘First Confession’ that will draw readers of years to come; the remarkable entrance into a world where the actions of two spoiled children lead to a tragic chain of events, ultimately ending in murder and suicide, that will compel readers even 50 years from now to connect to the novel. This future classic all begins when Andrea and Victor, the two main characters, steal money from the town harlot to put it to good use, to give it to those who may need it.
However, at the time of the theft, they are unaware that this one act will ultimately lead to a domino effect, causing nothing but an endless spiral of traumatic scenes.
Even though Andrea and Victor put themselves through a difficult journey, making it hard to read and experience, the reader is never actually angry at the characters. Instead, they are able to connect further, understanding that they are only children seeing for the first time a world they had been oblivious to.
As the title implies, the book revolves around a great deal of religion. Although the novel is packed with a series of often tragic events, the main concern constantly flowing through the two characters’ minds is that they are preparing for their first Catholic confession.
Although the confession is meant to provide a cleansing feeling for both Andrea and Victor, they are torn between conflicting feelings about wanting to confess due to their experiences.
Connecting with the characters, the reader is able to actually experience the inner turmoil they experience, especially Victor who prays constantly, begging for forgiveness. The emotional connection between the reader and the characters alone will allow this piece of art of to live through the ages. However, Fontes delves into other issues that will always be relevant to society.
Another significant matter the novel focuses on is the cultural and gender clashes that arise. In one summer, the characters are given the chance to experience the darker, more poverty driven side of Mexico, and further see the cultural clash between the white mother and Mexican father’s family and surroundings.
First Confession is not just entertainment. Like the other undying pieces of literature that have prevailed over time, it deals with social and religious issues that will continue to play an important role for future readers.
It’s safe to say that we have all experienced something similar to what these characters went through. Granted, probably not to the extent they traveled to, but at some point in our lives we all felt fear or a loss of control.