Published by Hodder & Stoughton on April 16, 2019
A literary courtroom thrilled about an immigrant family and a young single mother accused of killing her autistic son, Miracle Creek is a powerhouse debut about how far we'll go to protect our families, and our deepest secrets.
In rural 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,” it's also a repository of hopes and dreams: the dream of a mom that her child can be like other kids; the dream of a young doctor desperate to cure his infertility and save his marriage; the dream of the Yoos themselves, Korean immigrants who have come to the United States so their teenage daughter can have a better life.
When the oxygen chamber mysteriously explodes, killing two people, all these dreams shatter with it, and the ensuing murder trial uncovers imaginable secrets and lies. In Miracle Creek, Angie Kim takes a classic form—courtroom drama—and draws on her own experience as an immigrant, a lawyer, and the mother of a real-life "submarine" patient to turn it into something wholly original, unputdownable . . . real. This is a spellbinding novel by an exciting new voice.
I am so excited to be closing the tour today! I just hope I can find the words to review this book!
✮ My Review ✮
There you go that’s my review….what no? You want more? Seriously!
I am at a loss for words and how I have lost count how many times I have written this review and deleted it. I do not think I can do this book any justice. This book is one where I didn’t race through the pages, I took my time with it. Basically, a week to read it! I love courtroom dramas, and this was just riveting reading. Spanned over a few days, you see the case in so much detail. You live the line of questioning and cross-examinations, and the diagrams in the book were brilliant all adding to the finite detail. Whilst you are sitting in the courtroom, you are shown the past, learning what happened days leading up to the explosion. However, not only this, you are living the present day with all the characters while the case is going on and the day to day outside the courtroom. The breath of the detail in this book is mesmerising. Miracle Creek demands and deserves your full attention. There are a lot of voices in this book, so you do need your concentration hat on, but this did not bother me in the slightest. I was hooked and intrigued by everyone, their lives, their stories and how they all became messily entwined in each other’s lives. I knew when I was lacking attention when I kept reading the same paragraph three or four times…epic fail!
Wow, this book. It pushes you to think, what would you do if you had a child deemed as not ‘normal’. Would you push for all the treatments or would you give up? The Miracle Submarine, a safe haven, an oxygen tank, but how would you cope when your child is not improving like others. Is it easier to have a child to improve or to not? Just some of the things you question when reading Miracle Creek.
Elizabeth is standing trial for murdering her son, Henry, when he was receiving treatment for his autism and her friend, Kitt and we relive through the court case the days leading up to both their deaths and what truly happened that fateful night. I really couldn’t see where this was all going to go, I mean did Elizabeth set the fire to the oxygen tanks? Or was she set up? When you initially meet Elizabeth, well I for one didn’t like her. To me, this was her getting her comeuppance, right? But was she? All the stories and destinies are linked to this fateful night. No one knows how to tell the truth and when it does come out, it’s painful to read. I found I was crying by the end; every action and misconstrued conversation has a consequence and some people had to deal with the biggest ones.
A lot of people I think have been put off by this book, because of the number of different voices, but please do try to pick it up. It’s such a moving and emotive story. A Korean family leaving everything behind to help other families, to give hope to them and their children. The camaraderie with these women, the mums, connecting with how they can’t cope with the pressures of having a child deemed as not “normal” because they have a disability. You see the low and raw times and my heart broke for them. These women were heroes and they found strength each day to carry on. It made me sit back and think about how I would be, I know the decisions I would make but life is not always that simple.
I had in my head the outcome of the court case, but I was flummoxed and speechless, I did not see somethings happening and when they did well just WOW. What Kim has done with this book is powerful and moving. It is tough to talk about the detail in the book and the characters without giving any spoilers away, it is blinking tough as there is so much I would discuss with you. However, without spoiling the ending, I cried, I cried because of the loss, the unnecessary loss and the strength of the people to do the right thing. I cried because of the injustice of a couple of the character was unfair in my eyes, the actions had consequences and some consequences were not justifiably dealt with.
This is the first book for me by Angie Kim, and I can say it won’t be the last. My god, I think that Miracle Creek might always sit in the back of my mind. There was so much in this book, I was never bored, and I loved all the minute details. The little shack that the Yoo’s lived in, the Miracle Submarine, even Miracle Creek, I could have been there, I could smell the forest around them, hear the creek, so peaceful before the explosion. It is cleverly constructed, detailed and a beautifully woven story of love, life, family and trust. Every character is flawed, they have all done or said something that when taken out of context made them look guilty, making you question their motives. I am putting this in my list for book contender for sure (this list is out of control) as I was so invested in everyone’s stories and heartbreak.
It is a book that wants you to look past the facade of life, look at what is in front of you and it will make you question, what would you do for the person you love?
Until next time xxx
Well, that is what I thought! But what did everyone else think?
The Bookish gurl says
There are multiple layers to this story. You notice quite early on that nothing is how it seems. Kim peels the layers back one by one so that gradually we get inside her characters skins. By the end I wasn’t entirely surprised with the truth, but I enjoyed piece by piece everything being revealed!
Words from a Reader says
This is a book you don’t want to sleep on! Has to be one of the best books of 2019. A book about how far a family would go to protect their children and the sacrifice the will make. A courtroom thriller that will keep the reader gripped.
This book was unlike any other I’ve read. I’m a huge mystery/thriller fan but I’d yet to read a courtroom drama and this sets the bar exceptionally high now for the genre. Angie Kim throws a story at you where you’re forced to look at the darker side of people, but, not because they’re evil but because they are simply human. There are tough decisions to face, and even tougher consequences as ever action echoes a ‘what could have been’ had the person not made that choice. And that’s the best part, each character is held accountable to their thoughts and actions. You also face a harsher reality of what families/people face when they choose to try and better their families lives by moving to America.
Miracle Creek, therefore, is a truly magisterial study of human actions and the things that drive us; of the lies that spiral in our efforts to protect the ones we love. And, by exploring the parameters of good and bad, guilt and innocence, justice and redemption, it artfully sweeps the reader into a riptide of conflicting emotions and assures that the characters that Kim seems to have crafted so effortlessly, will stay in their minds long after they turn the final page.
Laura Patricia Rose says
A slow burner to start, this is a courtroom drama following on from the devastating explosion that took two lives and injured so many. Elizabeth is a victim of one of the lives lost, but she is the one on trial for murder. There are many characters involved and it gets you questioning motives, judgements, emotions and what really is the truth.
I think this would be an excellent book club read as there is just so much to discuss. I need to get a friend or family member to read it now so I can talk to them about it too.
Ronnie Turner says
Miracle Creek by Angie Kim is such a dazzling read. Part courtroom drama, part literary mystery, this is one that completely snatches your breath away. It honestly and authentically examines myriad issues and difficulties that the characters’ face: the hurdles of immigration, language barriers, social struggles, parenting. At times, it can be tough reading as the book does touch upon many emotional themes such as disability, loss, abuse and grief but all the way through, there is a subtext in the prose, one of care, compassion and sensitivity, beautifully written by the author.
Check out a snippet of the audiobook here
Until next time xxx
Thanks to Kate at Hodder for the tour invite and the author for a copy of the book in return for my honest and unbiased review
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: