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Title: Miracle Creek
Author: Angie Kim
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
Publish Date: April 16, 2019
Genre: Mystery Thriller
My Rating: 4/5
How far will you go to protect your family? Will you keep their secrets? Ignore their lies?
In a small town in Virginia, a group of people know each other because they’re part of a special treatment center, a hyperbaric chamber that may cure a range of conditions from infertility to autism. But then the chamber explodes, two people die, and it’s clear the explosion wasn’t an accident.
A powerful showdown unfolds as the story moves across characters who are all maybe keeping secrets, hiding betrayals. Chapter by chapter, we shift alliances and gather evidence: Was it the careless mother of a patient? Was it the owners, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? Could it have been a protester, trying to prove the treatment isn’t safe?
“A stunning debut about parents, children and the unwavering hope of a better life, even when all hope seems lost” (Washington Post), Miracle Creek uncovers the worst prejudice and best intentions, tense rivalries and the challenges of parenting a child with special needs. It’s “a quick-paced murder mystery that plumbs the power and perils of community” (O Magazine) as it carefully pieces together the tense atmosphere of a courtroom drama and the complexities of life as an immigrant family. Drawing on the author’s own experiences as a Korean-American, former trial lawyer, and mother of a “miracle submarine” patient, this is a novel steeped in suspense and igniting discussion.
A courtroom drama that recalls the events leading up to the night of the explosion. Told with the alternating points of view of the patients and the family that ran the Miracle Submarine. The Miracle Submarine, an experimental medical treatment, explodes. Two people are killed and others injured. The investigation into the explosion leads to a patient’s mother on trial for murder.
The Miracle Submarine is a pressurized oxygen chamber that is large enough for multiple people to receive treatment at the same time. The patients that are involved in the treatment include Matt (infertility), Teresa and her daughter Rosa (cerebral palsy), Kitt and her son TJ (autism), and Elizabeth and her son Henry (autism). Matt is the only adult undergoing the treatment. The others involved are receiving treatment for the children, though the chamber allows the mothers to accompany their children. Each of the families has something to contribute to the mystery of the submarine and what happened on the night of the explosion.
The family that ran the treatment facility – Pak, Young, and Mary Yoo – are Korean immigrants. Pak and Young are married, and Mary is their teenage daughter. Their facility was a target of local protests in the small town of Miracle Creek. Since it is an experimental treatment, some viewed it as dangerous. Family drama (secrets and not really understanding one another) comes into play for the Yoos.
Intriguing mystery with unique characters. With so many characters, there are multiple stories. Things are happening in each character’s life, and it all culminates into a disastrous event. Everything is not as it seems, and everyone is keeping secrets. Captivating and powerful.