A thrilling debut novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng about how far we’ll go to protect our families―and our deepest secrets
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 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.
I heard about this debut when it landed on the April LibraryReads list. It was blurbed by Scott Turow and Laura Lippman. It was recommended for readers who love Liane Moriarty (me, usually) and Celest Ng (definitely me!) All that and for me, a disappointment. I would say it was too much hype except it is a first novel and frankly, there can never be enough hype for a debut.
It started off interesting but for some reason, I quickly lost interest. I kept picking it up and putting it down. It took me a week to read and I read half a dozen other books in the meantime. I didn’t particularly care about any of the characters. The story was convoluted at times, and never really grabbed me. If it had, I wouldn’t have put it down.
This was a debut novel and I do understand its appeal; the cultural issues, the whodunnit at the heart of the story, the exploration of autism and all the controversies surrounding treatment, but mostly, I just found it slow.
5/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
MIRACLE CREEK by Angie Kim. Sarah Crichton Books (April 16, 2019). ISBN 978-0374156022. 368p.
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