Updated: Mar 29, 2020
I have admitted in the past that I am a sucker for hyped new releases. I also have a tendency to choose creepy and suspenseful crime based books. These two urges combined when I decided to choose Miracle Creek by Angie Kim for my April Book of the Month box. This book has been getting a lot of praise and it is Angie Kim's debut novel. I was immediately drawn to it after reading the synopsis, but the hype surrounding it made me even more intrigued. I have posted about over hyped books in the past (*cough The Night Olivia Fell *cough*) so I was hesitant that it would not live up to the praise, but wow, did it ever. Miracle Creek is a suspenseful courtroom drama with dashes of literary fiction. The character's story lines are so well developed. I was immediately drawn in and could not stop turning the pages to find out what happened.
Miracle Creek by Angie Kim is written from multiple character perspectives and takes place during a criminal trial surrounding Elizabeth, a mother accused of murdering her son and friend. Elizabeth is a young, single mother to Henry, a young boy diagnosed with autism. Her friend Kitt has a son, TJ, who is also on the spectrum, and they meet at the doctor's office when Henry is initially diagnosed. They both attend a moms support group and do different therapies and treatments together. Elizabeth and Kitt share a special bond, but like so many of us, they both fall victim to jealousy and comparison, which strains their friendship. Elizabeth and Kitt begin hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) treatments with Henry and TJ at Miracle Submarine, owned and operated by Pak and Young Yoo. HBOT is a medical treatment where a patient is exposed to an increased percentage of oxygen within a total body chamber, in order to increase their body's natural healing processes. Pak, Young, and their daughter Mary have what they call the Miracle Submarine in a barn on their property, where patients like TJ and Henry receive treatment. One evening, a horrible event occurs. A fire causes one of the oxygen tanks to explode and Henry and Kitt are killed. Fingers are pointed and ultimately land on Elizabeth, who is sitting trial for murdering her son and friend.
This book is incredible. The writing is dense, but satisfying. Each chapter is written from a different character's perspective and the book is structured by each day of the trial. I found myself losing sleep in order to stay up long enough to find out more about what happened that evening. The tragic event of the fire is a combination of multiple people's lies and the truth does not come out until the end. Usually, I can figure out how a story will go because I read a lot of thrillers and mysteries, but I honestly had no idea what happened with this one and I was surprised by the ending. This one definitely kept me guessing until the end. This is Angie Kim's debut novel, which blows me away. If this is her first novel, I cannot wait for what else she will come out with. She is an incredible writer and also very sweet to her fans. Keep doing what you are doing, Angie Kim!
Miracle Creek is not only a suspense/drama, but also was very thought provoking, hence the literary fiction mention. This book is much more than a murder trial, it is about illness and disabilities, truth and lies, and the extent a parent will go for their child. I really did not expect to get all of this out of a courtroom drama storyline, but wow, it made me reflect. Elizabeth is a mother who is trying to do the best for her child, but like any parent, she makes mistakes and she is her harshest critic. I felt like I went back and forth between relating and understanding her to almost being disgusted and ashamed for her. Being a parent, I strive to do what is best and right for my children, but I make mistakes. And what is best and right for me, might not be for another parent. Miracle Creek makes you consider all the possibilities and how far is too far, when it comes to doing what is best for your child? And what is best for your child?
I do not want to give away any spoilers, because I truly think this is a must read. I give it a solid ★★★★★ and recommend that you add it to your Amazon cart or next Book of the Month box. I do not give out five star reviews easily and I reserve them for books that I cannot get out of my mind and would recommend to anyone. I without a doubt, believe that you will enjoy this one. Read it and tell me otherwise!