Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
Published on April 16th, 2019 by Sarah Crichton Books
Genre: Contemporary / Mystery
Miracle Creek is a courtroom thriller involving immigrants and the possibility that a mother could have murdered her autistic son. Young and Pak Yoo came to Virginia, from Seoul, in hopes to find a better future for their daughter, Mary. Pak Yoo had to stay behind for a few years because of his visa. When he finally gets to Miracle Creek, Virginia, his family decides to run an experiment with something called the Miracle Submarine. This is a pressurized oxygen chamber that is supposed to be therapeutic for patients with cerebral palsy, infertility, autism, etc. One night, the chamber mysteriously explodes, killing two people in the process. The trial goes on to find out what exactly happened.
It is no surprise that my guilty pleasure is courtroom drama. If it is done right, then I am all about it. This was the perfect book to kill that craving. It has the right amount of courtroom drama and backstory. It is very intense and you can’t tell who is lying and who isn’t. Kim definitely takes the reader for a ride.
Since this is a Courtroom thriller, I’m going to be pretty vague. I don’t want to spoil it for the people that are looking for a non-spoiler review!
There isn’t much to say about the characters in this novel without spoiling anything.
You start with the Yoo family, Pak- father, Young- mother, and Mary- daughter. They moved to the United States from Seoul to start their lives fresh. The parents wanted the best for their daughter, and that included a better education. Unfortunately, she was hurt in the explosion and ended up being diagnosed with PTSD, which made her become very quiet.
You really get a glance into the realities of motherhood with a disabled child. Elizabeth Ward is one of my most hated characters, along with Janine Cho – Matt Thompson’s wife, because of the thoughts she has about her son. Henry has autism, and along with that comes great responsibility and stress. She takes him to many different kinds of therapies, and she has a specific diet that she feeds him. One of the therapies included HBOT, but the last night that Henry was alive, Elizabeth didn’t go in the chamber with him. Hence why she was accused of murdering him. Did she actually do it though?
You also get a little snip-it of Teresa, who has a daughter, Rosa, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy after she got sick and wasn’t taken to the hospital in time.
The thoughts that go through their heads, or at least Elizabeth’s head, amazed me. I knew that moms with disabled children struggled a lot. I’ve seen mothers talk about how they feel like they’re doing a bad job because there is no progress being made. I’ve never heard of someone saying their lives would be better without their kids. I’m not a parent, so I’m not aware of the whole situation.
Matt Thompson was the first person on the stand during the trial. Matt had also been in the chamber that night due to infertility. His wife Janine really wanted a child, and the extremes she went through killed me. I hated her so unbelievably much. Anyway, Matt had lost a few fingers that night. I felt bad for Matt until something happens between him and Mary that made me cringe . . . hard.
I loved the bickering between the defense attorney, Shannon Haug, and the prosecutor, Abraham Patterley. It made for an interesting courtroom experience. They were both very smart and very clever.
The writing was really good. I would read more from Angie Kim in the future! I thought she was detailed without being over the top, and she included great dialogue between characters.
This was a great read, and I can tell it’s getting the hype it deserved. It isn’t a courtroom thriller that I’ve ever read before. She definitely did something new with it. The characters were all very different and interesting. I learned a lot about HBOT. I didn’t even know that existed! I highly recommend this if you can get your hands on it.
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