Miracle Creek

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

TW: death of a child, talking about injuries from being burned + explicit talk about someone being burned, sexual assault, suicide

We follow a trial about a fire in an alternative medical centre where a mother and a child with autism died. The mother of the boy with autism is on trial for starting the fire because she wanted to kill her son. But did she do it?

I expected to love this, but it took me a while to be in the right mindset to read this. The characters were really fleshed out, I understood all the motives behind characters decisions, and the emotions that characters displayed felt real. It made me feel a lot of things (mostly sadness), but sometimes a little annoyed and angry. For example:

There's a scene where Elizabeth's lawyer states that Henry's autism might be caused by certain vaccines used before 2001. This bothered me to no end, since it was used as a legit form of evidence in the case, but it was also stated that Henry was cured of his autism after. There is NO evidence that vaccines cause autism, and the fact that they say that he was cured after just felt wrong. I know books shouldn't force feed us saying what we should find right and wrong, but having a brother with autism myself I just felt that something should have been said about it to debunk it you know?

another thing that made me angry (which was adressed by Young in the last chapter) is that Matt had an affair with a teenager that he forced into sexual things that she did not want to partake in, and didn't get any punishment for what he did. However, this does feel like real life so it was more a goddamn-another-real-life-situation-anger. 

I haven't read any Celeste Ng, but I've heard that if you like that author, you will like Miracle Creek. I highly recommend!!
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I’ve never found myself quite so gripped by a court room drama about a woman accused of killing her child. There’s so much emotional connection between the reader and the characters, so much commitment to developing these complex, fully formed lives that it’s hard not to image they’re real, and image the daily struggles and desperation Elizabeth must have gone through. You feel every emotion going. 

The plot is also tightly woven, adding layer upon layer of drama and angst to tell a captivating story that was very hard to put down. It also handles several sensitive issues, ranging from immigration to disability to the concept of human nature in a highly sensitive and appropriate manner, managing to be thought provoking and compelling all at once. It’s really masterfully done. 

I loved the way this story unfolds too, with multiple points of views that take us through the different views of the trial, often changing the mind of the reader as to what really happened. It kept me gripped throughout. Sometimes this did effect the pacing, and I found I wanted the story to move quicker than it was, as I was so desperate to see how the story was going to end. 

I would also say that although well written, I sometimes got bogged down in the writing. It’s heavy going, and not particularly light in subject matter, and required a lot of concentration and perseverance at times for me to get through.
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Miracle Creek is a courtroom drama but also deals with the themes of guilt, family and feelings of alienation.  Multi-layered and thought provoking.
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A thought provoking read from start to finish. Full of interesting characters and an enticing storyline there's so much to love about this book. I thoroughly enjoy this debut novel and I am very excited to see what Angie Kim writes next! For my full review please click the link below:

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I finished “Miracle Creek” by Angie Kim in July and totally forgot to write a review! The fact the story is still so clear in my mind after all that time is a credit to the author and the story. 

The story was like nothing I have every read before. It pulled on your heartstrings and the twists truly took your breath away, however, I found it a hard read. As much as I was desperate to follow the story and find out the ending I found myself skim reading to get to the juicy parts as the in between parts were quite drawn out. I’m not one to ever skim read so when I do it means I’m bored. The plot itself was amazing, the execution and writing style just personally wasn’t for me. 

I would highly recommend this novel for a book club as the topics and twists would make for a great discussion. I hate that I can’t give too much away in my review as there’s so much I want to discuss. It is a novel that will leave your jaw on the floor. 

100% recommend just not a 5 star read for me.

Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for a free arc in return for an honest review.
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This book is way more than a legal thriller. It is a complex mix of the cultural struggle for immigrants, murder, the fight of living with an autistic child all entangled in a courtroom battle.
It was a good read, very interesting but I found it a little too heavy for my personal. Somehow It took me a little to get into it.
Angie Kim is definitively very knowledgeable in special needs parenting as well being a lawyer herself, and the book clearly reflects it. 
Even though all the characters are big liars, dont expect to be on the edge of your seat until the last page (hint you’ll figure out whodunit pretty early on)
I found helpful to be privy of Elizabeth ( the mother on trial ) internal dialog and struggles as her outside attitude was not aligned with her thoughts.

Thank you to the publisher and to Angie Kim for this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Not my usual genre but once I started this book I could not put it down. A thought provoking read which will stay with me long after I have turned the last page. A courtroom drama but SO much more than a legal thriller. A many layered story which all readers of this genre need to read. A masterpiece of story telling which needs to read. I loved it, an easy five stars and so Highly Recommended. 
I would like to thank the author, publisher and Netgalley for the ARC.
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I really enjoyed this.  Honestly, it took a little while for me to get hooked but the story is fantastic and hearing from all of the different characters really added to the experience, particularly when you see the story unfold through the lens of a trial and see how the evidence fits a number of different scenarios.  Very well written and immensely enjoyable.
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Categorising Angie Kim's novel is an impossible task. Let me start by saying that I loved this book. Part court room drama, it encompasses, always provoking deep reader reaction, the immigrant experience in America, isolation and loneliness, parent child relationships, hope and the death of hope, parents' competing through their children, and more. Ms Kim uses the vehicle to expound the arguments on both sides of difficult subjects without ever leading the reader to know her views.
I particularly appreciated the opposing views of the supposed Alpha mother pushing her autistic child to achieve very marginal improvements, subjecting her son to an intense physical and mental regime. Who was she doing it for? Was the strain worth the gain? Shouldn't we accept all God's children as they are?
I found the book intense, compassionate and thought provoking.
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I quite enjoyed this novel mostly set in a courtroom after a fire is started at a therapy centre and kills two people Some interesting characters and  I was particularly drawn to the autism aspect of the novel Thought the outcome was good  and overall a satisfactory read
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Took me a while to get into this book, but it was worth the effort! . Thoroughly intriguing story about a miracle ‘submarine’ business run by Young and Pak, to provide revolutionary treatment of special needs children.. I found that once I got to grips with the various characters and where they all fitted in, I couldn’t put it down. 
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review.
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This novel is pre-empted as a most anticipated book of 2019.

For me this is an example of how some people love books, and for other people the book turns into a damp squib.

I found this novel slow, slow and slow.  There were loads of characters, with the plot being told from different points of view, and every single one of them has something to hide.  I found about half way through that I just didn’t care who had caused the explosion
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This is a book that I picked up on a whim and I’m so glad I did as it’s such an excellent novel. This is a book that hinges around an horrific incident at the Miracle Submarine (a pressurised chamber that allegedly helps treat autism and infertility). It’s partly a courtroom drama but it’s also a character study following multiple people in the lead up to and fallout from the accident. You really get into the mindset of everyone and why they have done the things they did, and how they feel in the aftermath. I found this such an engrossing novel – one that I wanted to read slowly… but also quickly to know what happened. The writing it stunning and I can’t wait to read more from this author in the future! This is a book that has really stayed with me and I think it’s one that I will re-read.
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I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Hodder & Staughton, and the author Angie Kim. 
A gripping courtroom thriller with many unexpected twists and turns. The plot has a wide cast of characters with different parts to play in the unravelling of the mystery, but each story is fully developed and every key action and motive succinctly explained so that the denouement occurs in a very satisfying way. 
A thought-provoking and emotional read. Would definitely recommend, 4 stars.
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Miracle Creek had been on my tbr for a looong time and it did not disappoint. The narrative is gripping and it’s hard to believe that this is Angie Kim’s debut novel as it’s so well written. The book switches between the different witnesses which increases the suspense and lends an almost Agatha Christie who-dunnit feel to the book. I had honestly no idea how everything would unfold but Kim weaves the story so well that this is thrilling and not frustrating or contrived. 

My favourite aspect of the book was the character development and the realness of the characters. The complexity of the various relationships and people is so well evoked and added to the thrill of the read. It wasn’t just about the court ruling but about how these people navigated their lives from the mundane to the extraordinary, and I find that it’s a sign of a really good book to both like and dislike characters all at once.
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A fantastic read with echoes of Jodie picoult.
I loved the changing view points and intriguing plot and I was a little disappointed by the ending it was fully believable.
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I enjoyed this novel hugely. It was at times challenging, not just because of the structure (how many points of view exactly?) but also because of the subject matter. A woman is on trial for the murder of her son. Whether or not she did it (and we don't find out until reasonably late in the narrative), the general view seems to be that she might as well have done, or that - whether or not - she deserves to suffer anyway. Her son was autistic, and rather than celebrate his difference, it seems that during his short life she was hell bent on 'curing' him, regardless of the impact on his happiness of doing so. The novel is not really about disability though. It's a beautifully, convincingly written courtroom drama dealing with the themes of family, outsiders, and trying to fit in. Not necessarily the quickest book to get into - because of the multiple viewpoints - but in my opinion massively worth it.
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This book definitely took awhile to get in to. There are a lot of characters, each with their own back story and drama. I've seen this book on a lot of "best of" lists and there are a lot of really positive reviews of this book, but for some reason the story just didn't appeal to me. Maybe because I'm not a parent or maybe because I'm not from an immigrant family. I couldn't relate to anyone in this book and it was mostly family drama - kids with special needs or in Matt's case, a husband and wife that really want a kid. 

It was a very well written book, although it just wasn't an enjoyable read for me.
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A story that starts off with an explosion that takes place at an hyperbaric facility run by a South Korean family in Virginia, USA killing a child and a woman. The rest of the story is centred around the courtroom trial against the alleged defendant of the explosion, the mother of the child who died in the explosion. Secrets and snippets of the truth are therefore revealed both in and out of the courtroom.  

I appreciate that this story was told from the perspectives of the various characters in the story. It added to the mystery thereby creating suspense and managed to grab my attention from the first page. It had me trying to figure out the truth entangled in the web of lies and secrets. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the cultural diversity in this book. It was so interesting to read about South Korean culture in terms of family dynamics and values, traditions, food and way of living. It was also interesting reading from the perspective of the mothers of the autistic children as reading about their thoughts and emotions showed their immense love for their children shadowed by their agony regarding their thoughts. 

The writing is absolutely beautiful, eloquent and melodic. I am in awe of the author and her way with words. The only part of the story that I did not enjoy was the path that the author decided to take the defendant on and then after that, I felt that the story was in such a hurry to finish off as if the story was running to meet a deadline of some sort.  

Overall a beautiful book about how tragedy mixed with secrets, pride and feelings of bitterness can tear people apart and causing turmoil and pain.
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A special thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Set in rural Virginia, Miracle Creek starts with an explosion at an HBOT facility, owned and operated by Pak and Young Yoo, Korean immigrants. Sealed inside the chamber are four patients undergoing treatment, and their caregivers. Tragically, 8-year-old Henry and the mother of another patient perish in the fire.

When it becomes apparent that the explosion wasn't an accident, but an act of arson, Pak You is the primary suspect. With an airtight alibi and solid evidence that suggests otherwise, he is eventually cleared by police—but the evidence that helped clear Pak incriminates Henry's mother, Elizabeth.

This powerful story unfolds during a four day trial. Told through multiple voices, it becomes apparent that everyone is hiding something. The reader must sift through evidence, betrayals, secrets, lies, and confessions, to find out who is responsible.

After reading the first few pages of Kim's debut, I thought I had been duped into reading a science fiction novel. But after googling "hyperbaric oxygen therapy" (also known as HBOT), I was shocked to learn that not only it is in fact an actual treatment, but Kim's own son underwent 40 dives for ulcerative colitis. Patients are delivered a high concentration of oxygen in a pressurized chamber, much like a submarine. The treatment is used for: autism, carbon monoxide poisoning, skin burns/injuries, infertility, cerebral palsy, and depression.

As beautifully written as this book was, there is also an innate sadness that I wasn't expecting. There is a desperation from many of the characters, not only in the lengths that they will go to for the health and well-being of one of their loved ones, but also to clear their names. This is also an honest portrayal of the challenges of caring for someone with special needs—Kim doesn't shy away from the sometimes harsh realities that these caregivers face.

The trial testimonies are the perfect vehicle for this story. Kim's writing is razor sharp and relentless in these passages. You can see the influence of her former career as a litigator with the impeccable dialogue in the courtroom scenes. 

Kim's writing and originality is what kept me going through this book. While I didn't love it, I genuinely liked it, and do feel compelled to point out again what an extraordinary author she is. The mystery aspect was both captivating and thrilling. But it was the characters themselves that were the negative, perhaps that was the point... Even with the unlikeability factor, the actual character study/character descent is something to be acknowledged, especially in a debut.
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