Miracle Creek
A literary courtroom drama about a Korean immigrant family and a young, single mother accused of murdering her eight-year-old autistic sonMy 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 the small town of 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” 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. An addictive debut novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng, Miracle Creek is both a twisty page-turner and a deeply moving story about the way inconsequential lies and secrets can add up—with tragic consequences.

Miracle Creek Details

TitleMiracle Creek
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 16th, 2019
PublisherSarah Crichton Books
ISBN-139780374156022
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Contemporary

Miracle Creek Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    Or perhaps the newspapers were right. Perhaps Elizabeth had been desperate to get rid of her son, and now that he was dead, she finally had a measure of peace. Perhaps she had been a monster all along. I had to take some time away to really process this book. It wasn't easy. Miracle Creek absolutely ripped my heart out. It's a fantastic, utterly thrilling courtroom drama; it's a mystery, perhaps a murder mystery; and alongside these things, it's also a powerful character study that examines imm Or perhaps the newspapers were right. Perhaps Elizabeth had been desperate to get rid of her son, and now that he was dead, she finally had a measure of peace. Perhaps she had been a monster all along. I had to take some time away to really process this book. It wasn't easy. Miracle Creek absolutely ripped my heart out. It's a fantastic, utterly thrilling courtroom drama; it's a mystery, perhaps a murder mystery; and alongside these things, it's also a powerful character study that examines immigration, parenthood, grief, disability and caregiving.The trial and the mystery are the compelling backdrop here, but this book explores so many things that it's hard to know where to begin describing it.It's now a year since the night that took two lives and injured several others. Elizabeth, the single mother of one of the victims, is on trial for murder. On the night in question, she dropped her son off for his HBOT treatment and purportedly left to drink wine and smoke cigarettes nearby-- the same cigarettes responsible for the blast that killed her son while she was absent. HBOT was new to me. It's a kind of oxygen treatment said to improve everything from male infertility to autism, and the author has personal experience with it. Elizabeth's son was on the autism spectrum and, as we soon see, the pressure of looking after him was pushing her to the edge. Whether it was enough for her to murder her son, though, is the real question. The more we learn, the less implausible it sounds. Having a special-needs child didn’t just change you; it transmuted you, transported you to a parallel world with an altered gravitational axis. But there are many other characters in this book and they all play an important role. The third person narration moves through each of their perspectives, filling in the night in question, piece by piece. Each person is fleshed-out and flawed. Kim explores them all in depth, creating so many intimate portraits that all come together to form a bigger picture.The HBOT facility was started by Pak and Young Yoo. As Korean immigrants, they have had to struggle with the dismissal of their business as silly "Eastern medicine", and with being forced apart when Young and their daughter first came to the United States without Pak. I was especially moved by the discussions about language barriers. Pak is a smart and eloquent man in his native language, but he suffers the indignity of appearing unintelligent in his broken, accented English: Pak Yoo was a different person in English than in Korean. In a way, he supposed, it was inevitable for immigrants to become child versions of themselves, stripped of their verbal fluency and, with it, a layer of their competence and maturity. Another interesting discussion was that about the "fetishization" of Asian women. Janine really struggles with her feelings about it. On the one hand, she thinks it is a potential problem, but she also wonders why men who have a preference for blondes do not get accused of having a “fetish”. Why, she wonders, are Asian women portrayed as something perverse?I think I could write my own book about all the avenues this fascinating book goes down. I haven't even said anything about the in-depth look at parenting and parental sacrifice. But I should stop before this review becomes ridiculously long.The final way I will summarize Miracle Creek is that it's a book about so many interesting characters who all want the best for their family, but grind themselves into the ground in the process - Elizabeth driven to the edge by parenting an autistic child, Pak the lonely “goose father” who wants the best for his family, Young who worked such long hours that she alienated her daughter, and there are others too.I found it such a beautiful and sad literary mystery.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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  • شيماء ✨
    January 1, 1970
    My taste in books ranges from “everyone needs to read this! 5 stars!” to “if the technology from Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind existed, I would use it to wipe every trace of this book from my consciousness...anyway, 5 stars!” It's safe to assume that my feelings for this book are a pendulum swinging between the two. RTC.
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  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    "But that was the way life worked. Every human being was the result of a million different factors mixing together... Good things and bad-every friendship and romance formed, every accident, every illness-resulted from the conspiracy of hundreds of little things, in and of themselves inconsequential."Oh boy. Where do I begin? It's quite possible that this book means so much to me because it's my unicorn-the perfect fit for this reader-and that may make my review a bit biased, so please keep that "But that was the way life worked. Every human being was the result of a million different factors mixing together... Good things and bad-every friendship and romance formed, every accident, every illness-resulted from the conspiracy of hundreds of little things, in and of themselves inconsequential."Oh boy. Where do I begin? It's quite possible that this book means so much to me because it's my unicorn-the perfect fit for this reader-and that may make my review a bit biased, so please keep that in mind as you delve into my thoughts below. Miracle Creek is a novel so precisely tailored to my wants and needs as a reader, I was left pondering just how the author crawled into my brain and extracted such specific thoughts and needs before placing them in her tale. Full disclosure-I almost missed this book, and likely wouldn't have picked it up if it hadn't been for Emily May's recommendation. I was worried it would be too difficult for me to read, but I'm glad I tossed those notions aside, because feeling this wide spectrum of emotion was a needed exercise in facing some of my own issues and embarking on a journey of healing and acceptance.Please know going in that this is not an easy read. It is disturbing at times, but in a natural way and not done for shock value. Miracle Creek is an emotional rollercoaster, and I cannot imagine you, reader, not being moved by this story if you are indeed a human being. There are some timely topics discussed that are difficult to read, but Ms. Kim has touched on these in such a delicate, respectful, and honorable way that it takes some of the sting away and replaces it with a softer approach. I really don't want to discuss the plot in deep detail here, as this is a literary courtroom novel and you'll want to find out all the juicy details on your own, but this is just as much a profound study on grief and the ripple effects of a few rash choices that spiral out of control."It was ironic-of all the parents of their patients, Elizabeth had been the most disheveled, and yet she'd had by far the most manageable child. Henry, her only child, had been a well-mannered boy who, unlike many other patients, could walk, talk, was toilet-trained, and didn't have tantrums. During orientation, when the mother of twins with autism and epilepsy asked Elizabeth, "Sorry, but what's Henry here for? He seems so normal," she'd frowned as if offended. She recited a list-OCD, ADHD, sensory and autism spectrum disorders, anxiety-then said how hard it was, spending all her days researching experimental treatments. She seemed to have no clue how she sounded complaining while surrounded by kids with wheelchairs and feeding tubes."And, cue the sobbing once again. This won't likely be a popular opinion, and for those of you who have already read the book, I hope you don't think less of me, but I related to Elizabeth so much and felt a deep sorrow well up inside of me for who she could have been, and for how her story played out. You see, I have been almost precisely in her shoes. My 6 year old daughter was diagnosed with autism spectrum and sensory disorders, OCD, and generalized anxiety at the age of 3. The doctors have been preparing us for years for the likelihood of an ADHD diagnosis in a few years, as it goes hand in hand with her particular side of the spectrum. She has asthma, moderate stomach issues, and I'll be damned if I haven't spent years of my life trying to find ways to alleviate those symptoms for her. Please do not misunderstand, the idea behind this book and my own thoughts are not to "cure" autism; the point here is that the pressurized dives were a means of treatment of unwanted symptoms, not unlike any other form of therapy. I'm ashamed to admit that, in the darkest of days, I have thought and spoken things into the empty void that I would never truly mean, but fortunately for me, I have a strong, loving, and caring support system that holds me together when I cannot hold myself up. I wanted to dip into this book, reach out, and hold Elizabeth. I wanted to comfort her and tell her that her child's needs were valid, even when other parents told her that her child was too "normal" and undeserving of receiving the therapies. I wanted her to know that it was ok to have those dark moments, because we are all human. But this was also a beautiful wake-up call, reminding me to live in the moment and appreciate all that my beautiful McKenna brings to our family. It was an endearing and heart-wrenching reminder that, if I ever lost our joy baby, that my life would essentially cease to exist. I could never survive if that bright light was extinguished from my life, and it hit me like a ton of bricks at how desperately we need to live each day to the fullest, and how grateful and privileged I am to be entrusted as a care giver to this incredibly gifted, loving, and special child. I could go on and on about this book, but I won't. Between the setting, although containing a fictional town in Virginia was set geographically within miles of my home, the deep, relatable characters, and a riveting plot that kept me glued from beginning to end, I cannot recommend Miracle Creek highly enough. I'm going ahead and calling it now-this will be THE debut novel of 2019, and I'm not just saying that because it was tailored so perfectly to my every whim. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up the moment you can get your hands on it. If you're a BOTM member, make this your April selection!*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy via NetGalley.
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    This fascinating debut novel covers all the bases - family drama, mystery, courtroom drama. A Korean couple opens an alternative health clinic that provides HBOT - hyperbaric oxygenation, which is supposed to help with autism, infertility, CP and other health problems. On a day that protesters have gathered outside the facility, it explodes. The same day one of the mothers chooses not to accompany her autistic son into the chamber. The same day the couple are both away from the controls of the c This fascinating debut novel covers all the bases - family drama, mystery, courtroom drama. A Korean couple opens an alternative health clinic that provides HBOT - hyperbaric oxygenation, which is supposed to help with autism, infertility, CP and other health problems. On a day that protesters have gathered outside the facility, it explodes. The same day one of the mothers chooses not to accompany her autistic son into the chamber. The same day the couple are both away from the controls of the chamber. So, who exactly is to blame when all the participants are either killed or injured? Who could be that much of a monster?Told from multiple points of view, we get to see both the day of the “accident”, their lives prior to it and the ensuing court case when the mother is charged with murder. The multiple points of view are extremely effective. “Teresa hadn’t expected an exact match between his memories and hers - she watched Law and Order; she wasn’t that naive- but still the difference was unnerving.” We are taken into the world of parenting autistic children; the anguish and the hardships but also the bliss of a small achievement. Some of the scenes described are gruesome. They’re also so incredibly well described you feel like you’re there. The image of a child’s adult teeth exposed above the baby teeth will stay with me for ages. OMG, I loved these characters. They all seem to have something to hide, they all are so achingly imperfect. So often thinking that their one little omission doesn’t matter. Kim uses these omissions to keep the reader guessing. Every time I thought I had figured out who the murderer was, Kim would throw a wrench into the mix and it would all be up for grabs again. And the writing is spot on perfect. Not necessarily lush, but so descriptive. I found myself repeatedly nodding my head in agreement. There are some fascinating philosophical issues raised here. This would make a great book club selection. Highly recommend! My thanks to netgalley and Farrah, Stroud and Giroux for an advance copy of this book.
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  • j e w e l s
    January 1, 1970
    FIVE MIC-DROP, WALK-AWAY STARSAngie Kim has done the impossible. In one book, she offers something for EVERYONE. If you love to read literary fiction, mystery, women's issues, immigrant stories, or courtroom dramas--please, do yourself a favor and read MIRACLE CREEK. I will be thinking about this one for a long time. There are so many themes in this sparkling novel, I don't know where to begin. If you've read Big Little Lies or Everything I Never Told You---then you know what I'm talking about! FIVE MIC-DROP, WALK-AWAY STARSAngie Kim has done the impossible. In one book, she offers something for EVERYONE. If you love to read literary fiction, mystery, women's issues, immigrant stories, or courtroom dramas--please, do yourself a favor and read MIRACLE CREEK. I will be thinking about this one for a long time. There are so many themes in this sparkling novel, I don't know where to begin. If you've read Big Little Lies or Everything I Never Told You---then you know what I'm talking about! The family relationships, the secrets and betrayals...mothers and children, guilt, love and sense of duty..all these things are explored in MIRACLE CREEK.I love the compelling and clever way in which the story is told: from an unfolding trial. BRILLIANT. I wonder why more mysteries aren't told in this manner? The constant thought running in my head: my gosh, this will make a terrific movie! I also listened to the audio book as I read along with my Kindle. My favorite, lazy way to read anything! The narrator is absolutely amazing--I highly recommend the audio if you are looking for a juicy one to sink in your ears . Thanks as always to Netgalley and the author for allowing me to read and review the advanced galley. All opinions are strictly mine.
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  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    Super impressed with this debut novel! It's a solid mystery/courtroom drama in which there are so many suspects you really aren't really sure who is guilty or what exactly happened until the very end. The author masterfully weaves some complex issues into the story which just take the book to a higher level than most others in the genre. The Miracle Submarine is a pressurized oxygen chamber run by Young and Pak Yoo. It's a controversial and experimental treatment for patients hoping to cure such Super impressed with this debut novel! It's a solid mystery/courtroom drama in which there are so many suspects you really aren't really sure who is guilty or what exactly happened until the very end. The author masterfully weaves some complex issues into the story which just take the book to a higher level than most others in the genre. The Miracle Submarine is a pressurized oxygen chamber run by Young and Pak Yoo. It's a controversial and experimental treatment for patients hoping to cure such things as autism and infertility. A mysterious fire breaks out one day and two people are killed. The mother of the boy killed in the explosion is now on trial for the double murder. But is she the only one with motive to start the fire? Of course not, this is one of those books in which just about everyone is a suspect.The mystery in my opinion was really well done and that's reason enough to read this book. The Miracle Submarine has a bit of a futuristic feel to it but the story itself reads like a good, old fashioned whodunit. I love what the author chose to bring to the table in terms of making this more than just a mystery. The experiences of a Korean immigrant family were fascinating to read but what I enjoyed the most out of the story was reading the perspectives of the parents who had children with health concerns. There's just so much to take away from the book that I think it will appeal to many readers. Highly recommend checking this one out!I won an advance copy of this book in a giveaway but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    The hype is real- this book is GOOD! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Miracle Creek takes place in a small Virginia town of the same name. Young and Pak Yoo are the owners of an experimental treatment called the Miracle Submarine, which is a pressurized oxygen chamber. Its dives are believed to be therapeutic for autism among other disabilities or conditions. The Miracle Submarine mysteriously exploded, and two people are killed. This small town is transformed forever. At first, it’s unclear who the suspect or suspect The hype is real- this book is GOOD! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Miracle Creek takes place in a small Virginia town of the same name. Young and Pak Yoo are the owners of an experimental treatment called the Miracle Submarine, which is a pressurized oxygen chamber. Its dives are believed to be therapeutic for autism among other disabilities or conditions. The Miracle Submarine mysteriously exploded, and two people are killed. This small town is transformed forever. At first, it’s unclear who the suspect or suspects are. Could it be the mother of one of the patients? Or the Yoos? Both may have probable motives. The courtroom drama plays out with BIG intrigue and lots of emotion. This aspect of this story was extraordinary and authentic. The author is a Korean immigrant and former trial lawyer, so that certainly adds to the authenticity of her characterization and subsequent unraveling of the courtroom plot. She is also the mother of a “submarine” patient, so the genuine emotion is firmly there. Ok, friends, don’t miss this one. If you enjoy emotional reads, this book is for you. If courtroom dramas are your bag, definitely don’t miss this. And everyone else? Well, this one is for you all, too. It’s just too good to pass up! It’s a twisty, dynamite page-turner with smooth writing and a compelling plot. Miracle Creek is an all-around fresh and refreshing read. I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    If you've ever watched one of the many iterations of the Law & Order series on television, you know that every episode follows a similar pattern, at least at the start—an incident occurs, every sign points to a particular perpetrator, everyone starts to wonder if they've caught the right person, and as the story veers to its conclusion you're not sure exactly what is going to happen.This is exactly how I felt reading Angie Kim's debut novel, Miracle Creek , a story that seemed so clear-cu If you've ever watched one of the many iterations of the Law & Order series on television, you know that every episode follows a similar pattern, at least at the start—an incident occurs, every sign points to a particular perpetrator, everyone starts to wonder if they've caught the right person, and as the story veers to its conclusion you're not sure exactly what is going to happen.This is exactly how I felt reading Angie Kim's debut novel, Miracle Creek , a story that seemed so clear-cut at first had so many layers, so much going on, and I couldn't stop reading it. Were the characters as straight-forward as they were being portrayed, or were they hiding secrets? Would the actual perpetrator ever be brought to justice?Amazingly, the book's courtroom drama was only a part of this book's appeal—it was a tremendously compelling and poignant story about the struggles of parenting, particularly when your child has special needs, the desire to protect your family and yourself, and the lies we tell ourselves to get by."Tragedies don't inoculate you against further tragedies, and misfortune doesn't get sprinkled out in fair proportions; bad things get hurled at you in clumps and batches, unmanageable and messy."Korean immigrants Young and Pak Yoo run Miracle Submarine, a device that delivers hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) through pressurized "dives." Some believe HBOT can treat diseases like cancer, diabetes, or infertility, and others believe in its effectiveness to help treat children with autism and cerebral palsy. The Yoos have a regular group of customers, but they also have attracted a fairly energized group of protestors, who believe HBOT is a sham, and that Miracle Submarine should be shut down.One day, in the midst of protests, power outages, and drama among the patients, a fire breaks out and the oxygen tank explodes, killing two patients and injuring others, including Pak and his teenage daughter, Mary. After their investigation, law enforcement apprehends their suspect, and a sensational, emotional trial is about to begin. Everyone wants to put the events of that day behind them and get to the truth.But what really happened that day? Were the protestors that warned of the threat of fires to blame? Was it the mother of one of the autistic children being treated, had she finally cracked under the pressure of caring for her son? Was it Pak and Yoo themselves, hoping to take the insurance money and cash in on a better life? The lies, the secrets, the painful truths will all collide as everyone tries to make sense of that fateful incident which affected far more lives than at first glance. Miracle Creek is a beautifully written and emotional story. The further you get into the book, the more you realize that the pervasive pall of sadness than hangs over the story is caused by more than the tragic explosion—it's an emotional heaviness surrounding all of the characters for different reasons, each of which played a contributing factor in what occurred. Kim does such a masterful job telling this story. There were characters I disliked at the outset that I started to warm up to as the story unfolded, and others that became less sympathetic. There also were a few characters that I didn't feel quite transcended stereotypical roles, but the book would have been much longer if Kim had spent time dwelling on their motivation, too.There has been a lot of hype surrounding Miracle Creek in the months leading up to its publication. That hype really is justified. Much like the incident that is at the book's core, the book itself is far more complex, complicated, and compelling than it initially seems. It's both cerebral and sensational. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018.html. You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
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  • Beata
    January 1, 1970
    When I requested this title, I had no idea what to expect. After eading Miracle Creek I know one thing: I'll follow Angie Kim and reach out for her next book. Miracle Creek is a courtroom drama and a thiller telling a story of an explosion that kills a child and an adult, and leaves several people injured. The tragic circumstance is that Miracle Submarine provides an unconventional treatment for several chronic diseases, autism among others, and is operated by Korean immigrant family who, having When I requested this title, I had no idea what to expect. After eading Miracle Creek I know one thing: I'll follow Angie Kim and reach out for her next book. Miracle Creek is a courtroom drama and a thiller telling a story of an explosion that kills a child and an adult, and leaves several people injured. The tragic circumstance is that Miracle Submarine provides an unconventional treatment for several chronic diseases, autism among others, and is operated by Korean immigrant family who, having lived in the USA for some years, still are trying to find their way in the new surroundings. There are several characters and we learn gradually the truth, which is a perfect way of narrating a story, at least for me. I enjoy discovering new threads with every page, and Miracle Creek leads me meandering beautifully.Truly unputdownable!!*Many thanks to Angie Kim, Farrar, Straus and Giroux for providing me with ARC in exchange for my honest review.*
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  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    How far are you willing to go for your child? That is the heart of the question of this terrific debut novel. It opens with s court case where a mother of a child on the spectrum stands accused of setting a fire that caused a fatal explosion. Her son one of those that died, but another mother was also killed. A hyperbaric chamber, called the submarine, offering parents the hope that the pure oxygen atmosphere will help their mentally challenged children. Also, involved is a man whose wife has co How far are you willing to go for your child? That is the heart of the question of this terrific debut novel. It opens with s court case where a mother of a child on the spectrum stands accused of setting a fire that caused a fatal explosion. Her son one of those that died, but another mother was also killed. A hyperbaric chamber, called the submarine, offering parents the hope that the pure oxygen atmosphere will help their mentally challenged children. Also, involved is a man whose wife has convinced him this may also improve his low sperm count. The Yoos, Korean immigrants, are the family that run this chamber.There are many different versions of this story we come to hear as we wade through a maze of lies, incomplete stories and half truths. All have a piece of thread to unravelling what really happened that day. All have a reason to not disclose all they know. There is plenty of in your face realism within as we hear the frustration of raising children who are less than perfect, but does this frustration lead to murder? As one of the characters in the novel exclaims, We all have thoughts that shame us." So true, parenting is a frustrating job, healthy chlld or not. As the different threads, stories coalesce, we begin to piece together the truth. All the little pieces, separate incidents lead to a final outcome. Everyone holds a piece of the puzzle in their hands, " Good things and bad, every friendship and romance formed, every accident, every illness, resulted from the conspiracy of hundreds of little things, in and of themselves inconsequential." A book that shows how one action, effects another and another, and terrifically rendered. A well done debut novel, one that will hold the readers interest as they try to figure out who did what and why. How little actions, turn into big ones until there is a point of no return. Expecting good things from this young author.ARC from Netgalley.
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  • marilyn
    January 1, 1970
    added on 2/22/2019 Below on what should be post 12 is a link to an article the author wrote that details her son's experience with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Thank you to Teresa for pointing out this article. Miracle Creek, by Angie Kim, was a book that I didn't want to put down because the author made me care about these people who are nothing like me. It's the story of Korean immigrants, Young and Pak Yoo, who run the Miracle Submarine, a pressurized oxygen chamber that is used by young patien added on 2/22/2019 Below on what should be post 12 is a link to an article the author wrote that details her son's experience with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Thank you to Teresa for pointing out this article. Miracle Creek, by Angie Kim, was a book that I didn't want to put down because the author made me care about these people who are nothing like me. It's the story of Korean immigrants, Young and Pak Yoo, who run the Miracle Submarine, a pressurized oxygen chamber that is used by young patients with a variety of health issues. It's also being used, unwillingly, by an adult doctor, Matt, whose Korean wife railroads him into being the first adult to go through the treatments, in an effort to cure his infertility. Although there are other treatments each day, the book focuses on a group that is undergoing twice a day treatments, for 40 days. One of the patients is Henry, an 8 year old autistic boy, son of Elizabeth, who has tailored very hour of their day, full of treatments, therapies, camp, and very restrictive eating and sensory input, to give her son the best chance of being a "normal' boy. When there is a fire that kills Henry and Kitt, the mother of TJ, and severely injures Matt and Mary, the daughter of Young and Pak Yoo, Elizabeth is charged with the crime of starting the fire and murdering Henry and Kitt. Pak loses the use of his legs as he run in and out of the chamber, trying to save the lives of all the people under his care, people who he feels he is responsible for and is willing to give his life to save. This book is about lies, big lies, little lies, and the belief that it's ok to lie because telling the truth can't bring back the dead, that maybe the person accused of murder might not have murdered anyone but she had thoughts of wishing her son dead at times, as might other full time caretakers, with no relief in sight from care taking a helpless "forever" child that will outlive them. Even though each of the characters had secrets, most of them also had my sympathy. The Yoos were weighed down by traditions from their homeland that didn't allow them to "discuss" things with each other, that kept them trying to protect the pride of the father, even though some of those archaic ways caused the daughter to dislike her mother for not fighting against those traditions. The many lies of the story started long before the day of the fire and so many of the people involved, once they start telling tiny bits of the truth, continue to lie, hold back information, allowing others to believe things that are false. A large part of the book is in the courtroom and I really enjoyed the courtroom drama. Both lawyers are willing to do anything to either get their client acquitted or get the accused convicted, even if they find out or know truths that make what they are doing extremely wrong and unethical. At any time, many of the characters could have told what they knew and turned the entire case around, inside out, and shed light on what really happened but they didn't, even when they had moments where telling the truth would have been the easiest thing to do. The hardships that the Yoos endure in the years before they begin their chamber business are overwhelming but even once they are together again, after years of being apart while waiting for their family visa, the family is not happy. The mothers of the children using the chamber had a lifetime of hardship ahead of them and each mother fights with the guilt of sometimes wishing they could have a minute to themselves, dreaming of a 'normal' life, a life so many of us take for granted because we aren't full time caretakers, for life. There seems to be no relief in sight for most of these people and it's clear that once this is all "over", that no one will really be able to let go of the fact that they lied...their lies will always be with them. As we meet the various people involved in what happened that day and as we go through the trial, we are flooded with the extent of the lies that have led to the fire. So many things had to come together to allow the fire to happen and any one of those things could have happened differently or not at all and then this tragedy would not have happened. In the end, this book is about facing ones role in what has happened, acknowledging one’s part in the tragedy, big or little, taking responsibility in how we hurt others even if we did not mean to at the time and how we continue to hurt others by holding back the truth. So much that happened, could never be "fixed" but I do like how the story is handled at the end. I think the ending has a realness to it that we sometimes don't find in crime stories. The ending doesn't make what happened disappear but instead plays out in a realistic way that allows the characters of the book to make amends and have room to breathe in a life that could seem unbearable otherwise. I can see a way for these people to heal and move on, even if they never forget the past and even though their lives are changed forever. Thank you to Farrar, Straus and Giroux and NetGalley for this Advance Read Copy.
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  • Elyse Walters
    January 1, 1970
    Long ... but no spoilers!!!!Great Balls of FIRE.... ...literally and figuratively...From the first sentence, the reader is hooked. I am completely jubilant about this book....with a fascinating medical exploration of Hyerbaric oxygen therapy - a treatment used for decompression sickness of scuba diving hazards - but is also used to treat a variety of medical conditions, such is the case in this story. Medical evidence is sufficient in treating autism, Bell’s palsy, infertility, and a long list o Long ... but no spoilers!!!!Great Balls of FIRE.... ...literally and figuratively...From the first sentence, the reader is hooked. I am completely jubilant about this book....with a fascinating medical exploration of Hyerbaric oxygen therapy - a treatment used for decompression sickness of scuba diving hazards - but is also used to treat a variety of medical conditions, such is the case in this story. Medical evidence is sufficient in treating autism, Bell’s palsy, infertility, and a long list of other diseases. Parents brought their children with special needs to the oxygen tank. Each session (the dives)were an hour long. Pak Yoo, Korean immigrant, sent his wife, Young, and their daughter, Mary to live with a host family in Baltimore. Pak wanted his daughter to get an American education.Young had to work at a run-down supermarket with bulletproof doors ( gangs at night in the area), 7 days a week. Young worked like a slave in exchange for the host family ( the Kangs), paying for Mary’s American education. In the meantime, it took another 4 years until Pak joined his wife and daughter in the Baltimore. Pak opened his Hyperbaric oxygen therapy here in the states. His wife, Young and their daughter, Mary were clearly not happy - about their life in America. I couldn’t blame them. Their daily lives were compromised severely. Pak made all the final decisions in that family. I personally wanted to kick him in the balls! Pak said HBOT was popular with Asian acupuncture clients. The Asian community in Japan and Korea had wellness centers with infrared saunas and HBOTHe had years of experience in Seoul Pak had been in Acupuncturist for 30 years..But gave it up in the states for his oxygen wellness therapy. Pak and Young’s daughter, Mary was frustrated -lonely and - angry for numerous reasons. Her life as a teenager in the states was completely jeopardized due to their parents choices. Mary questioned why she needed to get an American education when the math classes in Korea were far superior. In fact all of the education was more advance than in the states. So.. I wondered about their argument as to why they came to America myself. After the explosion -Mary’s personality flipped from a hot tempered talkative girl to a detached mute facsimile of her daughter”.Doctors diagnosed Mary with posttraumatic stress disorder PTSD. She missed taking her SAT classes that day.... and everything about her life went from worse to worse. “Miracle Submarine”, ( the oxygen chamber is shaped like a submarine), exploded at 8:25pm on August 26th, 2008, starting an uncontrollable fire. Pak, the owner lied big time that night. His wife was victim to her husband’s lie. 6 people were inside the Submarine chamber. 3 people were in the immediate area. 2 died. 4 were severely injured— hospitalized for months, paralyzed limbs amputated. Outside the treatment center, on the night of the tragic event, protesters gathered: angry - wanting to close down the Submarine oxygen business. Maybe- but doubtful - that one of the prosecutors were the cause of the explosion. But possible...I started to think ‘many’ people were to blame - not just one person. THIS STORY IS GRIPPING ... and got inside my head. Even though I felt I knew the number 1 culprit- ( not saying if I was right or not)....I kept thinking about the pros and cons of oxygen medical treatments. The medical fiction was equally as interesting to me as the page turning courtroom drama. A treatment center opened just 2 miles from my house over a year ago. Expensive as hell!!! I’ve been curious about the BIG TANK in our neighborhood- but it was this book that ‘really’ piqued my interest. Something went VERY WONG the night of the explosion in Miracle Creek.Accident or intentional? And what’s the miracle? A year after the explosion....a terrific courtroom case began. Elizabeth Ward was charged with arson, battery, attempted murder. Her own son died. Elizabeth’s defense attorney, Shannon Haug....was stellar during the courtroom trial. She didn’t believe Elizabeth was guilty. Neither did I...but Elizabeth and everyone had reason to want to explode the treatment center. Everyone was hiding something. The town “Miracle Creek” could have been “Liars Creek”. A community of liars. Abraham Patterley the prosecutor...wasn’t a fan of Shannon Haug -and vice versa. (Making the courtroom drama fun for our reading). Steve Pierson, an arson specialists and witness verified that the fire started outside the chamber....and Elizabeth ‘was’ outside the chamber the night of the explosion. Elizabeth’s son, Henry, who had autism was one of the victims killed while in the “Miracle Submarine” chamber. Doesn’t seem quite like a miracle when people are killed and injured. But did this mother really cause the fire explosion...that killed her own child?We got a clear look at Elizabeth’s daily demands for her son. Elizabeth was “Henry-centric”. No time left over for friends and socializing. “During the day, Elizabeth drove Henry to seven types of therapy—speech, occupational, physical, auditory processing (Tomatis), social skills (RDI), vision processing, neurofeedback—and, between those, roamed holistic/organic stores for peanut/gluten/casein/dairy/fish/egg-free foods. At night she prepared Henry’s foods and supplements and went on autism treatment boards such as HBOTkids and AutismDoctorMoms”.Sounds like a committed mother - yet Elizabeth was THE ACCUSED. Or?? who else was to blame? The two dead victims were Kim Kozlowski ( the defendant’s long time friend), and Henry Ward, the defendant’s own 8 year old son. I was totally intrigued with this book! I liked everything about it......the medical issues...the top notch courtroom drama, and......the immigration story - (from Korea to the United States). 4 trial days..We hear from a full cast of witnesses:....Matt Thompson was the first witness. A medical doctor - Caucasian - married to Janine Cho - Asian -( also a medical doctor/ internist). Matt had fingers amputated from being in the chamber during the fire that night in August 2008. Others witnesses:PakYoo, owner of HBOTYoung Yoo ( wife of Pak)Elizabeth Ward, ( the accused) ... and once married to Victor Janine Cho, ( Matt’s wife)Teresa ... mother of Rosa, a teen daughter with cerebral palsy, due to an illness. Author Angie Kim did an outstanding job with this novel. As a preteen she moved from Seoul, Korea to the suburbs of Baltimore. She attended University and Harvard Law school. This was a phenomenal enjoyable debut novel. The cast is large - but was very easy for me to keep track of everyone. LOVE THIS BOOK!!!This was the BEST courtroom drama I’ve read since “Defending Jacob”...by William Landry.Plus this novel had added enrichment topics: medical fiction and immigration.Smokin-hot-storytelling!!!One of my FAVORITES!!!Thank you Farrar, Straus, Giroux, Netgalley, and Angie Kim
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  • Monica
    January 1, 1970
    What an incredible, moving story that I was unable to put down! The characters were the most realistic I've read in years. From the honesty shown by the moms of special needs children, to the teenage girl rebelling against her parents, to the infertility of a young couple... And I was completely flabbergasted by the ending. Although all the characters had parts to play in the horrible tragedy, the story unfolded in a way I would never have guessed. The "court drama" is only a small piece woven i What an incredible, moving story that I was unable to put down! The characters were the most realistic I've read in years. From the honesty shown by the moms of special needs children, to the teenage girl rebelling against her parents, to the infertility of a young couple... And I was completely flabbergasted by the ending. Although all the characters had parts to play in the horrible tragedy, the story unfolded in a way I would never have guessed. The "court drama" is only a small piece woven into the overall struggle of these families.I strongly recommend this book! Thanks to NetGalley and publishers for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    5 billion heart wrenching, epic, poignant stars! How far you go to protect your children’s lives?Can you dedicate your whole life for their well being? Is it fair to push them so hard for their treatment? There are so many questions make you rethink your principles of your life as you read this book.Elizabeth is accused to kill her own child. Young witnesses her own child slowly vanishes from her arms and turns into a stranger. Teresa does everything for well being of her child but she’s at the 5 billion heart wrenching, epic, poignant stars! How far you go to protect your children’s lives?Can you dedicate your whole life for their well being? Is it fair to push them so hard for their treatment? There are so many questions make you rethink your principles of your life as you read this book.Elizabeth is accused to kill her own child. Young witnesses her own child slowly vanishes from her arms and turns into a stranger. Teresa does everything for well being of her child but she’s at the edge of losing of her own well-being. Different mothers from different backgrounds, with different perceptions, motives. Only common thing about them is their love to their children. This is so fast paced, riveting, argumentative, engrossing book about the web of lies around fire which brings out hidden truths of the different families.Emotional and shocking ending rips your heart. It’s juggling different issues as like adaptation problems of immigrants in a new country, legalization of new treatment techniques for special needs children, mothers’ devoted loves for their children which are perfectly combined and meticulously described. It’s effective, emotional book makes you think and see different sides of stories before judging people’s actions. Different, smart and totally learning experience !
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 rounded up!Miracle Creek checks a lot of boxes for me - family drama, a whodunnit, court room proceedings, great characters and excellent writing. The family featured is a Korean immigrant family who runs an experimental medical business that people seek "treatments" for who have autism, infertility and other life altering "ailments". This course of treatment is highly controversial for some and when a fire is responsible for killing two people during a treatment, a murder investigation begi 4.5 rounded up!Miracle Creek checks a lot of boxes for me - family drama, a whodunnit, court room proceedings, great characters and excellent writing. The family featured is a Korean immigrant family who runs an experimental medical business that people seek "treatments" for who have autism, infertility and other life altering "ailments". This course of treatment is highly controversial for some and when a fire is responsible for killing two people during a treatment, a murder investigation begins and fingers are pointing everywhere. It took me about 100 pages to get into the rhythm, but once I found my footing I couldn't tear my eyes away (unless I was forced to since I can't read all day and night 😉). The court room scenes were riveting and I felt like I was there. Picture your favorite court room drama on TV - this was just as good. When the reader wasn't in the court room, we were treated to flashbacks that delved into each characters side of the story, which gave new information to what we already knew. Angie Kim was very clever in her writing, which made it difficult to figure out who started the fire. If court rooms scenes or criminal investigations don't quite pique your interest, there is plenty here in the likes of literary fiction, where we go behind the scenes to parents who are literally a slave to their children's lives. There are plenty of discussion pieces here, which make this a perfect book club choice. I highly recommend this and can't wait for Ms. Kim to write her next book.Thanks to Netgalley, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and Angie Kim for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review of this book.Review Date: 4/7/19Publication Date: 4/16/19
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    NetGalley approved! HELL. TO. THE. YES!
  • Fran
    January 1, 1970
    It took five years for Pak Yoo to save enough money for a family visa. He finally could emigrate from Korea to the United States following wife, Young and daughter, Mary who were living with a very demanding host family. Moving to Miracle Creek, Virginia, Pak now owned and operated The Miracle Submarine, a 100% pressurized oxygen chamber designed to heal damaged cells through deep penetration of oxygen during sixty minute "dives". As a controversial, experimental treatment, protesters felt that It took five years for Pak Yoo to save enough money for a family visa. He finally could emigrate from Korea to the United States following wife, Young and daughter, Mary who were living with a very demanding host family. Moving to Miracle Creek, Virginia, Pak now owned and operated The Miracle Submarine, a 100% pressurized oxygen chamber designed to heal damaged cells through deep penetration of oxygen during sixty minute "dives". As a controversial, experimental treatment, protesters felt that Pak's clients were "guinea pigs". To the parents of children with autism, cerebral palsy and other health issues as well as adults with fertility issues, the Miracle Submarine offered hope, especially to the "double dive" clients who signed up for twice daily treatments for forty days.This hyperbaric therapy (HBOT) clientele included Matt, a doctor. Matt's in-laws viewed him as having a "defect". Wife Janine insisted on HBOT treatments for his infertility. Elizabeth Ward's devotion to eight year old autistic son Henry could be considered to be "Puppeteer Parenting". Henry was enrolled in numerous therapies throughout the day. Kitt was the mother of TJ, eight years old, autistic and non-verbal. Rosa was a sixteen year old teenager with cerebral palsy. Teresa, Rosa's mother was thrilled that Rosa could now say "mama". Contrast that with Elizabeth's expectations for Henry!The night dive on August 26, 2008 was fraught with difficulties. Protesters caused a delay in the start time of the dive, the AC and lights were not working and the DVD stopped mid-song. The back oxygen tank then exploded. Elizabeth's son, Henry and TJ's mother, Kitt were killed. Four others were seriously injured. Why is it that Elizabeth chose not to dive with Henry that evening asking Kitt to keep an eye on him? According to the accident reconstruction expert, the fire started outside the chamber, under the oxygen tubing. Whose cigarette and matches started the blaze?Elizabeth Ward was on trial for the murder of son, Henry. She had mentioned that life would be easier if she wasn't a round-the -clock caregiver. Was this a recipe for murder? The ensuing court trial was very engrossing. Defense lawyer Shannon Haug was determined to deflect the blame. Who might stand to gain from Elizabeth's conviction? Pak and Young want to collect the insurance money from the fire and jump start their lives. "The story Pak has invented to protect them had, with time and repetition, become the truth...". Pak and Young were not the only ones speaking half truths. A perfect storm of lies and deception was created that could affect the outcome of the case."Miracle Creek" by Angie Kim is an absolutely riveting read. Each primary/secondary character was thoroughly fleshed out. This reader was able to sympathize with Mary Yoo's feelings of isolation and loneliness as a teenage immigrant. The exclusion felt by the parents of special needs children and the need of support from an insular community of parents with similar experiences cannot be understated. The courtroom trial was fascinating, the twists and turns made this reader continue to question Elizabeth's culpability. "Miracle Creek" by Angie Kim is a debut novel of the finest caliber. A must read! Thank you Sarah Crichton Books, Farrar, Straus and Giroux and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review "Miracle Creek".
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  • Aimee (Book It Forward)
    January 1, 1970
    Miracle Creek is the story of struggle which as we know, comes in many forms. Immigration, integration, fertility challenges, inter-racial marriage, special needs parenting, loss, financial struggles, and marital issues. These issues are all explored and part of the big picture in Miracle Creek. My favorite aspect of this book is the courtroom drama which we see unfold one year after the tragedy at Miracle Submarine. The lawyers are fiery, and the secrets they reveal are explosive. The character Miracle Creek is the story of struggle which as we know, comes in many forms. Immigration, integration, fertility challenges, inter-racial marriage, special needs parenting, loss, financial struggles, and marital issues. These issues are all explored and part of the big picture in Miracle Creek. My favorite aspect of this book is the courtroom drama which we see unfold one year after the tragedy at Miracle Submarine. The lawyers are fiery, and the secrets they reveal are explosive. The characters in this book all have secrets which makes it so much fun to read even when you are reading about tragic events.I loved this book so much, that when I finished it at 2am, I sent Angie Kim a message to tell her how amazing it was. I don't give my 5 Star ratings out too often, but Miracle Creek deserves every one of those stars.* I loved how each character had their own back story.*I loved how the courtroom drama writing was intelligently written and kept me wanting more.*I loved how I couldn't figure out what the heck actually happened the entire time I was reading so that FINALLY a book ending surprised me.*I loved how Angie Kim wove details about the struggles immigrants face and the reasons that they choose to come here in spite of the challenges they know they will face. It really puts into perspective just how tough it must be to uproot your life and move somewhere when you can't even speak the native language.*I loved how rich of a story this was. I was hooked from the beginning, and never felt let down.Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for giving me an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.See this and other book reviews at www.BookItForward.blogFollow me on Instagram and Twitter! @BookItBlog
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  • JanB
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book! This is a fascinating murder mystery/courtroom drama/immigrant story that is unlike any other I have read. Along with being a riveting page-turner the author explores tough questions that have no easy answers. The book opens with an explosion in a hyperbaric chamber, the so-called “Miracle Submarine”, a medical treatment used in the hope of a cure for conditions ranging from autism to infertility. The resulting fire took the life of two people: an 8-year-old boy with autism, a I loved this book! This is a fascinating murder mystery/courtroom drama/immigrant story that is unlike any other I have read. Along with being a riveting page-turner the author explores tough questions that have no easy answers. The book opens with an explosion in a hyperbaric chamber, the so-called “Miracle Submarine”, a medical treatment used in the hope of a cure for conditions ranging from autism to infertility. The resulting fire took the life of two people: an 8-year-old boy with autism, and the young mother of one of the patients. Several others were left with devastating injuries. Elizabeth, the mother of the young boy who died, is charged with wanting her son dead and orchestrating his murder. Is Elizabeth guilty, or, as the defense suggests, is someone else the guilty party? Told from alternating perspectives, there are little lies, big lies, and lies of omission. Everybody is hiding something and everyone has a possible motive for the crime.The courtroom drama was riveting. Depending on which piece of evidence is explored, the suspicion leans strongly toward one person or another. No one has the full picture but each reveal draws us closer to the truth and keeps the reader guessing. I think one of the strengths of this book is allowing the reader a peek into the minds and hearts of parents of disabled children. Parenting is a tough job, even more so when faced with the overwhelming exhaustion, grief, and fear of parenting a child with special needs, and the worry of what will happen to your child when they outlive you. The dynamics of the group of mothers who have children with varying degrees of autism was especially interesting. Despite a great love for your child, shameful, but all-too-human, thoughts can creep in. Thoughts that could never be voiced out loud to anyone. I hope this book gives parents in similar circumstances reassurance and validation that they aren’t awful people, just flawed humans. Like all of us. The immigrant experience is also explored, specifically the clashes between the old ways and the new, and the sacrifices immigrant parents make for their children, which don’t always lead to the expected outcome. The author is Korean-American, a trial lawyer, and has a child who received hyperbaric treatments for a health condition. She writes with authenticity based on personal experience. This is an amazing debut and I can’t wait to see what she writes next!Highly recommended for fans of thoughtful character-driven mystery/courtroom dramas. I read this with Marialyce and we had a great discussion. For those in a book club this would be an excellent pick. **I received a free copy of the book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review* for our duo reviews of this book, and others, please visit Marialyce's blog: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...
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  • Nadia
    January 1, 1970
    This is probably one of the best courtroom dramas I've ever read. Having hardly any idea of what the book was about, I found myself totally engrossed after only a few chapters in.  Elizabeth, a mother of an autistic boy is on trial for setting a fire to a hyperbaric oxygen chamber 'Miracle Submarine', causing the death of two people, including her son, and seriously injuring 4 other patients. The miracle submarine clinic is run by a Korean family who moved to the States for a better life. When t This is probably one of the best courtroom dramas I've ever read. Having hardly any idea of what the book was about, I found myself totally engrossed after only a few chapters in.  Elizabeth, a mother of an autistic boy is on trial for setting a fire to a hyperbaric oxygen chamber 'Miracle Submarine', causing the death of two people, including her son, and seriously injuring 4 other patients. The miracle submarine clinic is run by a Korean family who moved to the States for a better life. When the tragedy strikes, their wealth is destroyed and the father of the family ends up in a wheelchair.  It becomes obvious very quickly that the case is not as straightforward as it first appeared. Each person involved in the fire tragedy is hiding something, protecting their own interests, not realising that the things they are hiding are crucial in uncovering the truth.The chapers switch between different POVs slowly revealing new bits of information to gradually piece together the events preceding the tragedy. This is done in such a clever way that with each chapter I thought I knew who the criminal was, only to completely change my mind a chapter later, and then do it all over again!I was very impressed with Angie Kim's ability to handle difficult subject matters with so much authenticity. The portrayal of the hardship of a Korean family moving to the States was heartbreaking and felt very real as the author was drawing upon her own experience. Reading about the struggles of the mothers with children with autism was emotional and again it felt very real. I think this is a great debut novel and I look forward to reading more from Angie Kim.Many thanks to Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and NetGalley for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    [4+] Miracle Creek is an absorbing literary courtroom thriller whose characters weave a tangled knot of lies and secrets. But more than anything, it is about the pain, sacrifice and guilt of parenthood - particularly motherhood. And love above all - the love that makes any burden bearable. Kim doesn't shy away from exploring difficult issues here. The mothers of disabled children (mostly with autism) in Miracle Creek devote their lives to improving their child's lives, even though the rewards ar [4+] Miracle Creek is an absorbing literary courtroom thriller whose characters weave a tangled knot of lies and secrets. But more than anything, it is about the pain, sacrifice and guilt of parenthood - particularly motherhood. And love above all - the love that makes any burden bearable. Kim doesn't shy away from exploring difficult issues here. The mothers of disabled children (mostly with autism) in Miracle Creek devote their lives to improving their child's lives, even though the rewards are often not clear. And they are utterly weary. Pak Yoo and Young emigrate from Korea to improve the life of their daughter, yet Young suffers crushing guilt for working 18 hour days while leaving her child mostly alone. This is a wise and profound novel that I can't stop thinking about.
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  • Cari
    January 1, 1970
    So. Good. You must all get this book when it comes out. And then discuss it with me.I was riveted all the way through this tragic and tightly woven courtroom drama. I can't say I've ever seen a book that blends legal intrigue and character development so seamlessly. I am so hoping the author will be up for a Skype with my library's book group - MIRACLE CREEK is sure to be a favorite! I'm rooting for a LibraryReads pick!
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  • Book of the Month
    January 1, 1970
    Why I love itby Liberty HardyClear your calendars, put your phones on airplane mode, and get ready to hear the sounds of your heartstrings being plucked! This stunning debut is a family drama, courtroom thriller, and a mystery, all of which add up to one of the most incredible novels of 2019.The road to hell is paved with questionable inventions … The Miracle Submarine is an experimental medical treatment device, essentially a pressurized oxygen chamber, run by Korean immigrants Young and Pak Yo Why I love itby Liberty HardyClear your calendars, put your phones on airplane mode, and get ready to hear the sounds of your heartstrings being plucked! This stunning debut is a family drama, courtroom thriller, and a mystery, all of which add up to one of the most incredible novels of 2019.The road to hell is paved with questionable inventions … The Miracle Submarine is an experimental medical treatment device, essentially a pressurized oxygen chamber, run by Korean immigrants Young and Pak Yoo in rural Virginia. Though it's first considered revolutionary, public opinion turns against the device when it explodes, killing two people and tearing a community apart. Who is at fault? As the trial at the heart of the book unfolds, we gradually learn about the town, its secrets, and how the Yoos’ hopes and dreams became a nightmare.My two-word review: Jaw. Dropping. I was absolutely floored by this book! Reading it felt like opening a present I had been hiding in my heart. It had so many important, heartbreaking messages about immigration, parenting, and responsibility. And knowing that Kim herself is a Korean immigrant, a former trial lawyer, and mother to a “submarine” patient, lends a whole additional level of credibility to the book. I cannot stress enough what an amazing writer Kim has shown herself to be with her very first novel, and I hope we get to read more from her very soon!Read more at: https://bookofthemonth.com/miracle-cr...
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  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    Parenting is hard work and every parent knows that. It's a time of fun, frustration, happiness, anger, love and even twinges of hate. However, as hard as this job is being a parent to a normal child, it is incredibly more difficult, more trying, and more heart breaking being the parent of a handicapped child. In the book, Miracle Creek, Angie Kim tries to point out how very difficult that job is. As a parent, you would do anything to make life and its many pitfalls easier for your child. You wou Parenting is hard work and every parent knows that. It's a time of fun, frustration, happiness, anger, love and even twinges of hate. However, as hard as this job is being a parent to a normal child, it is incredibly more difficult, more trying, and more heart breaking being the parent of a handicapped child. In the book, Miracle Creek, Angie Kim tries to point out how very difficult that job is. As a parent, you would do anything to make life and its many pitfalls easier for your child. You would go to any lengths to guarantee their safety, happiness, and always be there to provide a cushion to the ills of the world your child is traveling through. However for a parent of a handicapped child, this road they must travel is so often fraught with frustration, pain, and the incredible loss of concern for self. It's a time of never resting, never sleeping well, always on guard for the next disaster, the next time of unhappiness, the next case of looking for cures that can allay the situation and offer the hope of making your child normal. So it is not that surprising that the parents of severely handicapped children have come to the facility run by Young and Pak Yoo. This miracle submarine as they call ii, is a hyperbolic chamber that offers remedies for autism, infertility and other maladies. It seems to be somewhat successful but tragedy is on approach and as the submarine once known as a miracle becomes a nightmare, killing two people. The Yoo's life is thrown into turmoil and the lives of the parents who are left behind becomes one of recriminations and guilt. A trial ensues in which one parent, Elizabeth, is accused of setting this disaster in motion and being the cause of the explosion that killed two people, one of whom was her son.The strength of this book comes from the true picture that is painted of parents who struggle with their children who are disabled. It so well portrays the road that these people travel, one often filled with frustration, anger, and of course hope. It allowed for feelings of hate, hate for the cards dealt to them and the children who made their lives ever so difficult. It showed true human emotion, not always kind or loving, but exhausted, sleepless, and embarrassed. Everyone in this story is lying, lying to protect their assets, lying to protect their marriage, lying to deny their part in a scenario that was both tragic and fated. It is a story of deceit, a story of tragedy, a story of how far a parent will go to make their child normal.Jan and I read this book together and came away with a keen understanding of the pitfalls one often falls into in their zeal to make their offspring perfect, to fit a norm, to be normal.Thank you to Angie Kim, Farrar Straus and Giroux for a copy of this story. Our reviews can be seen here: http://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpress...
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  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    MIRACLE CREEK left me totally gutted. Angie Kim is a beautiful writer, and has crafted a novel that is equal parts courtroom drama, taut mystery, and heartbreaking story about hope—hope for medical miracles, hope for a better future, hope for your children. This one will haunt me for a while.
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  • Bkwmlee
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsWow, what a story! This book surprised me in so many ways, which is something I didn’t expect going into it after reading the summary. On the surface, this looked like a typical mystery / thriller but with a unique premise – a hyperbaric oxygen therapy procedure gone horribly wrong and subsequently a young single mother gets put on trial for murder – yet a few chapters in, it became apparent that there was nothing “typical” about this story. In fact, I had a hard time categorizing this 4.5 starsWow, what a story! This book surprised me in so many ways, which is something I didn’t expect going into it after reading the summary. On the surface, this looked like a typical mystery / thriller but with a unique premise – a hyperbaric oxygen therapy procedure gone horribly wrong and subsequently a young single mother gets put on trial for murder – yet a few chapters in, it became apparent that there was nothing “typical” about this story. In fact, I had a hard time categorizing this book, as it’s one of those stories that starts off with a crime committed – in this case, a fire that was set, resulting in multiple deaths and injuries – but as the facts about the case are debated in court and each character gets to tell their side of the story from their perspective, the narrative evolves into much more than just an exercise in determining guilt or innocence in order to solve a case. Rather, the story becomes a deeper exploration of various issues and experiences that many of us deal with in real life: the complexities of relationships, the obligations involved with marriage and parenthood, the bonds of family, morality and ethics as it pertains to how one deals with incurable medical conditions, etc. – throw into that mix a truly resonant immigrant story, one that gets to the heart of the Asian immigrant experience in terms of culture, acceptance, identity, and the effect this experience can have on those who live it every day. There was a lot of depth to the story as well as to the characters, all of whom I felt that I could relate to and connect with in one way or another, despite coming from a completely different background and, with a few of the characters, not sharing any experiences in common. This was a book that I found very hard to put down, to the point that I very nearly finished it in one sitting except for the fact that I needed to sleep for a few hours in order for my brain to properly function so I reluctantly had to finish reading in 2 sittings instead. It still amazes me that this is the author Angie Kim’s debut novel, as this was so well-written and the individual threads of the story were woven together so seamlessly, there’s no doubt in my mind about her talent as a writer. I’m typically not a fan of books where courtroom dramas are front and center, as I tend to find them too drawn out and confusing, but this one was very well done, with a perfect balance of twists and turns as the trial went on with the cleverly placed backstories that kept me constantly second-guessing each character’s involvement leading up to the incident. The ending was surprising and not anything at all like what I expected, yet made perfect sense with the way the story played out.In interviews and articles, the author talks about her family’s own experience with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which she incorporated into the narrative alongside additional research that gave the story an altogether authentic feel. At times, I felt like I was reading about a real-life court case involving real-life people — a criminal case written so convincingly, I had to remind myself time and again that this was a work of fiction. The realistic nature of the story compelled me to immediately go online after I finished the book so I could find out more about the author and also get some additional background on what I had read.This is a book you want to go into knowing as little as possible and just let the story take you where it leads. With that in mind, I don’t want to say too much more other than give yourself sufficient time to read this one because once you pick it up, you most likely won’t want to put it down!Received ARC from Sarah Crichton Books (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux) via NetGalley
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  • Carl
    January 1, 1970
    My favorite book of the year, and I think the best courtroom drama I've ever read. I got this book 24 hours ago and stayed up most of the night to finish it. This is a powerful book. The murder trial draws you in and keeps you turning the pages, but the writing is absolutely marvelous. There are many insights about immigration and parenting, and although I don't have experience with either, it made me very sympathetic and helped me to understand that perspective. Wow. And the voices were very di My favorite book of the year, and I think the best courtroom drama I've ever read. I got this book 24 hours ago and stayed up most of the night to finish it. This is a powerful book. The murder trial draws you in and keeps you turning the pages, but the writing is absolutely marvelous. There are many insights about immigration and parenting, and although I don't have experience with either, it made me very sympathetic and helped me to understand that perspective. Wow. And the voices were very different from each other, which is an achievement because there are something like 6 different characters. The chapters written from the male characters' viewpoints in particular were really well done, which, as a guy, was a little bit surprising to me. And the whodunit mystery was very clever and supremely satisfying once we got the answer. I read a bookseller's tweet comparing this to Agatha Christie, and that's completely true. Absolutely first-rate.The above is a copy of my Netgalley review. (By the way, I'm new to Netgalley, and how awesome is it that you can get free copies before the book comes out? Mind blown.) Anyway, coming here to Goodreads and seeing the recommended books pop up for me, it reminded me. Miracle Creek reminds me a lot of Secret History. That's not a courtroom drama, but both are women authors that have a really convincing male voice. And also the murder mystery and the really amazing writing. Thank you to FSG and Netgalley for an advance digital copy of the book.
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  • Dorie
    January 1, 1970
    Miracle Creek (previously 'Miracle Submarine') by Angie Kim due April 2019Farrar, Straus, GirouxSarah Crichton Books On the 29th day of August 2008, in the small town of Miracle Creek, Va, the 'Miracle Submarine' oxygen tank caught fire, and the submarine exploded. Inside were 6 people. 2 died and 4 were left severely and permanently injured.The Miracle Submarine oxygen tank was an experimental and controversial treatment device run by Young and Pak Yoo. Patients enter a pressurized oxygen chamb Miracle Creek (previously 'Miracle Submarine') by Angie Kim due April 2019Farrar, Straus, GirouxSarah Crichton Books On the 29th day of August 2008, in the small town of Miracle Creek, Va, the 'Miracle Submarine' oxygen tank caught fire, and the submarine exploded. Inside were 6 people. 2 died and 4 were left severely and permanently injured.The Miracle Submarine oxygen tank was an experimental and controversial treatment device run by Young and Pak Yoo. Patients enter a pressurized oxygen chamber that is submerged in water. It claims to help with infertility and autism.No one say for sure who is at fault for what happened or why it happened, but there are plenty of theories. It depends who you ask,It might be Young and Pak Yoo themselves, hoping to cash in on the insurance money to help pay for their daughters college education.It might be the mother of an autistic boy in the submarine that day, she quit smoking but was seem sneaking cigarettes near the tank close to when it exploded.It might be the Yoo's daughter, who was left with the task of monitoring the tanks...but left her desk to attend to her autistic brother who was banging his head, demanding a 'Barney' dvd.The trial begins about a year after the accident. Invigorating and enthralling this is one of the many highlights of this book...the courtroom trial and attorneys are absoluting absorbing. Angie Kim has written a novel from her own real life experiences as a Korean immigrant and a trial lawyer. It weaves love, loyalty, experimental medial trials, law and autism together, but she does more than explore just action and consequence, she digs deep to reveal how bound we all are to our own emotions and what we think is right.Pure genius, this debut novel is beautifully written and thought out, and I look forward to more from her.Enchanting!
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  • Kim ~ Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! I loved this book! I had already given this a big 5 stars in my mind before sitting down to write this review, then I stumbled across an article written by the author that made me love this book even more. It actually took the book to the next level for me. Once I read that the author had based much of this material on personal experience, my heart hurt. My heart hurt for every parent that has to go through this. I will include the article at the end of my review if you are interested. If y Wow! I loved this book! I had already given this a big 5 stars in my mind before sitting down to write this review, then I stumbled across an article written by the author that made me love this book even more. It actually took the book to the next level for me. Once I read that the author had based much of this material on personal experience, my heart hurt. My heart hurt for every parent that has to go through this. I will include the article at the end of my review if you are interested. If you had a child that had a special need, whatever the degree wouldn't you as a parent do whatever it took to help them function to their fullest capacity? I sure would and I would bet that almost everyone else out there would also. That is why it is so easy to empathize with the families of Miracle Creek that have taken to an experimental treatment with HBOT (hyperbaric oxygen therapy). Each child in the treatment program has a different physical or mental disability with varying degrees that they are affected by them. The ultimate goal for each family is to improve the quality of life for their loved ones. When tragedy strikes and the HBOT explodes this book really takes off into a suspense filled page turner. All the characters were so well developed by this point that I felt I knew each one. One by one facts were revealed that made them a suspect in my mind. Was the explosion an accident or murder? Did a parent do the unthinkable? Or was it one of the various protesters that had flocked to Miracle Creek to demand the program be shut down?I could not flip through these pages fast enough. This story just kept building up momentum as I got deeper and deeper into it. An absolute fantastic debut novel with such a thought provoking premise. I am a nurse and I have heard of these treatments but had not put much thought into it. Upon reading up on it I am absolutely intrigued and blown away with the information out there. The author's personal experience is nothing short of amazing. I highly suggest getting your hands on this book.Link to vogue article from January 2018 where the author Angie Kim talks about her personal experience. Fascinating article, I wished I had read this before I read the book! It ties in so well.https://www.vogue.com/article/angie-k...
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  • Esil
    January 1, 1970
    What a crazy convoluted fraught plot Miracles Creek offers. But it was compulsively readable. It’s hard to believe it’s a first novel. I hope it isn’t Angie Kim’s last. The story is somewhat of a courtroom drama. Elizabeth is on trial for the murder of her own son and a friend. Both deaths occurred in a pressure chamber meant to help people with various conditions, such as autism and infertility. The story takes place over the course of a few days during the trial, and is told from the perspecti What a crazy convoluted fraught plot Miracles Creek offers. But it was compulsively readable. It’s hard to believe it’s a first novel. I hope it isn’t Angie Kim’s last. The story is somewhat of a courtroom drama. Elizabeth is on trial for the murder of her own son and a friend. Both deaths occurred in a pressure chamber meant to help people with various conditions, such as autism and infertility. The story takes place over the course of a few days during the trial, and is told from the perspective of a number of characters including the owners of the chamber. Everyone has multiple layers of secrets that come out slowly as the story unfolds. It’s hard to categorize this one by genre. It’s not really a psychological thriller or a mystery. It’s more of a character driven novel, showing the twisted thought patterns and emotions of people in difficult situations. Smart, complex and emotional. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
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