Title: Miracle Creek
Author: Angie Kim
Genre: Mystery, Contemporary, Fiction
Release Date: April 16, 2019
A literary courtroom drama about a Korean immigrant family and a young, single mother accused of murdering her eight-year-old autistic son
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 . . .
In the small town of Miracle Creek, 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. An addictive debut novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng, Miracle Creek is both a twisty page-turner and a deeply moving story about the way inconsequential lies and secrets can add up—with tragic consequences.
This was such a complex book. A lot was going on in each of the characters and it was hard for me to remember/keep up with the details at first. Fortunately, I was able to follow the story towards the middle and became hooked because of the plot.
The courtroom drama was executed well. I felt like I was watching a legal drama show. It wasn’t very easy to guess who the real culprit was. It was only revealed towards the end which made this book more interesting! Aside from the plot, this book also has likeable and relatable characters! I really felt Pak Yoo and Young’s struggle to keep their family together (which is the bulk of the story).
There were lots of important issues that were discussed in this book such as immigration, mental health, and infidelity. A great debut novel. Thanks to NetGalley and Farrar, Straus and Giroux books for providing me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.
“That was the thing about lies: they demanded commitment. Once you lied, you had to stick to your story.”
“It’s hard when you have a disabled child, of any kind. I don’t think you can understand if you’ve never experienced that.”
“But that was the way life worked. Every human being was the result of a million different factors mixing together–one of a million sperm arriving at the egg at exactly a certain time; even a millisecond off, and another entirely different person would result. Good things and bad–every friendship and romance formed, every accident, every illness–resulted from the conspiracy of hundreds of little things, in and of themselves inconsequential.”
Soundtrack: Forest Fires by Axel Flovent
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About the Author:
Angie Kim moved as a preteen from Seoul, South Korea, to the suburbs of Baltimore. She attended Stanford University and Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, then practiced as a trial lawyer at Williams & Connolly. Her stories have won the Glamour Essay Contest and the Wabash Prize in Fiction, and appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, Salon, Slate, The Southern Review, Sycamore Review, The Asian American Literary Review, and PANK. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and three sons.