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.
From the opening pages of Miracle Creek, Angie Kim creates an intense atmosphere of foreboding and suspense, building swiftly to the event that triggers the rest of her debut novel, unraveling so many lives and lies ... This novel is a stunner, emotionally packed, with separate characters delivering internal plot twists and turns. Part family drama, part trial drama, part culture war drama—digging into sensitive topics like parenthood, immigration, infertility, and alternative therapy—this novel is all secrets, secrets, secrets. In multiple narratives, we see events from different points of view as they unfold, or as they are recalled, or through statements and mental asides during testimony. It’s dense with story lines but never confusing; the reader turns pages eagerly, waiting, wondering what could possibly happen next and how it will all resolve ... One idea Kim explores, under-represented in popular culture, is the cost, psychic and spiritual, of leaving one’s homeland to pursue dreams or a 'better' future in the United States. Kim does a marvelous job in excavating the emotional toll of this move ... Angie Kim gives the reader a supremely masterful unraveling in this tense, psychologically astute, emotionally riveting, suspense-filled literary thriller.
While the courtroom scenes and plot pyrotechnics are sure to delight readers of legal thrillers and mysteries, at its heart, Miracle Creek is a deeply moving story about parents and the lengths they will go for their children. Several characters reflect on the challenges of caring for special-needs children with remarkable, occasionally brutal, honesty ... Some may find the novel’s conclusion overly reliant on memories and secrets jarred loose at just the right time. But more likely, readers will be riveted by the book’s genre-bending structure and superb pace ... a stunning debut.
As people descend from 'hero to murderer in an hour,' Miracle Creek becomes a fascinating study of the malleability of truth in the courtroom. For the reader, learning the killer’s identity matters less than parsing the moral compromises each character makes to guard his or her own version of truth ... The interior life of the characters gives Miracle Creek depth ... The unique perspectives in Miracle Creek aren’t matched by an equally daring narrative style. Kim is capable of striking descriptions, but for the most part, she doesn’t take any risks. Still, Miracle Creek is a brave novel that challenges assumptions of reality.