Thoughts on my latest BOTM pick | Review of Miracle Creek
Publication Date: April 16th, 2019
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
Page Count: 357
Why I read it: It’s the #diversespines May pick and I couldn’t resist the hype
First Sentence: “My husband asked me to lie.”
Synopsis (From Amazon): In rural Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine―a pressurized oxygen chamber that patients enter for therapeutic “dives” with the hopes of curing issues like autism or infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos’ small community.
Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night―trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges―as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.
Angie Kim’s Miracle Creek is a thoroughly contemporary take on the courtroom drama, drawing on the author’s own life as a Korean immigrant, former trial lawyer, and mother of a real-life “submarine” patient. Both a compelling page-turner and an excavation of identity and the desire for connection, Miracle Creek is a brilliant, empathetic debut from an exciting new voice.
My Thoughts: Some books catch fire on Instagram and end up over-hyped, though no fault of their own. MIRACLE CREEK comes with incredible hype- but it's worth every bit of it.
The story opens on the night if the incident- a family has recently immigrated from South Korea and started a HBOT business. HBOT is a treatment that allows the patients to breathe in 100% oxygen and has been used to treat a myriad of conditions. On this night, an oxygen tank explodes. Two people die, and it looks like it's not an accident.
The story flashes forward to a year later, when a trial for the accused takes place. I'll leave it at that, but I found this to be an incredible debut. The author managed to create such a REAL story; it's one that's going to stick with me for a long time. She brought in so much of her personal experience- of having immigrated to America, her work as a Harvard trained lawyer, her experience as a mother. And it all came together beautifully. This is going to be the next novel publishers use in their "for fans of" comparisons. Loved it!
Rating: 5 stars
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