I was sent this book through NetGalley to review, thanks to the team at Farrar, Straus and Giroux and Sarah Crichton Books for sending me a copy – I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Title: Miracle Creek
Author: Angie Kim
Genre: General Fiction (Adult)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 16th April 2019
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.
- The story was gripping right from the start, I honestly can’t remember the last time I read a thriller or crime novel and was this invested from page one. I mean, the first line alone hooks you in!
My husband asked me to lie. Not a big lie. He probably didn’t even consider it a lie, and neither did I, at first . . .
- The book centres around the explosion which results in the death of a number of patients seeking treatment in the ‘Miracle Submarine’. Due to the suspicious nature of the explosion, everyone becomes a suspect, but the leading suspect is Elizabeth, the mother of a child with Autism, named Henry, one of the boys who tragically died. The novel follows the court proceedings and jumps backwards and forwards in time to unravel what really happened.
- As part of their efforts to establish themselves and send their daughter Mary to college, Pak and Young create the ‘Miracle Submarine’, which offers HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy) to a variety of patients, some of which suffer from Autism, Infertility as well as Cerebral Palsy. I had no idea what this therapy was before reading this book, but it’s certainly a very interesting idea.
- The novel deals with Autism, and explores the stigma that individuals with Autism face. It also goes into what parents or caregivers of children with Autism experience and the effects that has on them emotionally. It’s really touching to read how the parents in the novel devote themselves so entirely to their children and how hard they fight for them.
- The suspense and the ‘who dunnit’ was so well executed, with the perfect amount of back and forth between different characters. Just like in the court procedure, we as readers get to act as jurors and make our own judgement on these characters.
- I really enjoyed reading through all the different characters perspectives, sometimes this can be confusing but in this book, I think Angie Kim does an amazing job of switching between them and making them well developed and interesting.
- Some of favourite characters would have to be the Yoo family; Pak, Young and Mary. They are a South Korean immigrant family who have a tenuous relationship and are adjusting to life in the states. You get to read through each of their eyes, read about their hopes, struggles and disappointments and I really felt for each of them. While the novel is primarily a murder mystery, this portrayal of the Asian immigrant experience is also very interesting to read.
- The conclusion / ending was PERFECT. Now I’m not a person who throws that word around lightly when it comes to endings but the way it all unfolded was so true to life. It wasn’t all neatly tied up and every action had a consequence, in some cases, some irreversible ones. I cried when I came to the end as I was so emotionally invested, I wish there was more but I believe Miracle Creek ended very fittingly.
Overall, this book is definitely one of my favourites of the year and I am a huge fan of Angie Kims writing. I will definitely be keeping a lookout for what she writes next because she is a truly gifted and special writer.
★★★★★ – 5 Star Rating
Are you a fan of mystery / crime novels? Does Miracle Creek sound like the type of book you’d be interested in? Would love to have a chat in the comments!
Until next time,