- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books (April 16, 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0374156026
- ISBN-13: 978-0374156022
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 141 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Miracle Creek: A Novel Hardcover – April 16, 2019
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"The Farmer's Son" by John Connell
"A fascinating portrait of a single sensibility, a born noticer, someone on whom nothing is lost, observing birth and death, the landscape, and his own heritage." ―Colm Tóibín, author of "Brooklyn" Learn more
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An Amazon Best Book of April 2019: The Yoo family are Korean immigrants plying an unusual trade, running a pressurized oxygen chamber participants use in the hopes of improving conditions ranging from autism to infertility. When a horrific explosion at the facility leaves two dead, the case against the alleged culprit is not as open and shut as it first appears...Angie Kim’s intricately-plotted courtroom thriller, Miracle Creek, isn’t a conventional whodunit where the bad guy is eventually unmasked and the reader closes the book with righteous satisfaction. Kim has weaved a more complicated web than that, one that ensnares characters many readers will empathize with--well-meaning but flawed, doing foolish things for noble reasons--and that only adds to the suspense. There were many times I thought I had Miracle Creek all figured out, only to realize I'd been hoodwinked by another red herring. Kim was a former trial lawyer and that experience shows, but if this debut is any indication, she made the right career change. --Erin Kodicek, Amazon Book Review
A Washington Post Bestseller
An IndieNext Pick
An April 2019 LibraryReads Selection
An April 2019 Book of the Month Club Selection
A Best New Book at People Magazine
A Most Anticipated Book of 2019: BuzzFeed, Refinery29, CrimeReads, Electric Literature, Nylon, The Millions, BookRiot and more; named one of 10 Best Books to Read in Spring 2019 in The Saturday Evening Post; one of Southern Living's Best Books of Spring 2019
"[A] thought-provoking journey of ideas [and] a fascinating study of the malleability of truth in the courtroom . . . Miracle Creek is a brave novel that challenges assumptions of reality."
―Krys Lee, The New York Times Book Review
"A deeply moving story about parents and the lengths they will go for their children . . . readers will be riveted by the book’s genre-bending structure and superb pace. Miracle Creek is a stunning debut about parents, children and the unwavering hope of a better life, even when all hope seems lost."
―Jung Yun, The Washington Post
"[A] mesmerizing debut . . . [Angie Kim] shows an enormous amount of empathy for her characters, infusing them with such intense humanity that I sat weeping for them in an airplane middle seat, between two strangers, for several minutes after I finished the book. With clear, assured prose and penetrating emotional intelligence, she takes us deep into their inner lives . . . The plotting is deliberate and detailed and marvelously done."
―Steph Cha, Los Angeles Times
"Miracle Creek is a quick-paced murder mystery that plumbs the power and perils of community."
―Trish Bendix, O: The Oprah Magazine
"Clear 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 . . . 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."
―Liberty Hardy, Book of the Month Club
"I was immediately drawn in by Kim’s vivid, horrifying opening chapter, building a tension that doesn’t let up until the book’s final pages . . . [Miracle Creek] powerfully, and at times painfully, interrogates the inner lives of women who are the primary caregivers for children with chronic, debilitating medical conditions . . . Even as the courtroom plot unspools, Kim also encourages readers to look at the uncomfortable truths that might remain unspoken or barely whispered, as she lays bare her characters’ deepest vulnerabilities and darkest moments."
―Norah Piehl, BookReporter
“A rigorous character study, touching on themes of immigration and motherhood.”
"Angie Kim’s intricately-plotted courtroom thriller isn’t a conventional whodunit where the bad guy is eventually unmasked and the reader closes the book with righteous satisfaction. Kim has weaved a more complicated web than that, one that ensnares characters many readers will empathize with--well-meaning but flawed, doing foolish things for noble reasons―and that only adds to the suspense."
―Erin Kodicek, Amazon Book Review
"Miracle Creek is a courtroom drama with impeccable pacing, an original plot, and stellar writing. It’s also a remarkably empathetic book, exploring the ripple effects of causality and the urgent need to do right by each other in big and small ways . . . A great read that deserves broad success." ―Sara Hinckley, IndieBound.org
“With so many complications and loose ends, one of the miracles of the novel is that the author ties it all together and arrives at a deeply satisfying―though not easy or sentimental―ending. Intricate plotting and courtroom theatrics, combined with moving insight into parenting special needs children and the psychology of immigrants, make this book both a learning experience and a page-turner. Should be huge.”
―Kirkus (starred review)
“This stunning debut by Angie Kim is both an utterly engrossing, nail-biter of a courtroom drama and a sensitive, incisive look into the experiences of immigrant families in America.”
"Kim effectively uses her background as a trial lawyer, skillfully crafting her narrative by interweaving the stories of her characters, each of whom speak for themselves as the story progresses toward a surprise ending. With touches of mystery, legal thriller, and character-driven storytelling, where nothing is ever quite as it seems, Kim's promising debut will certainly have readers looking forward to her next offering."
―Library Journal (starred review)
“[A] masterpiece of grief, hope, and recrimination . . . A complex novel of parenting, prejudice, and putting blame where blame’s due, this one is not to be missed.”
"[Miracle Creek] has everything you're looking for in a book."
―Reading Women Podcast
"This courtroom thriller is easily one of my most favorite reads of the year-to-date and the industry buzz is massive. Pre-order this one, so that you can read it before all your friends start talking about it."
―Kristopher Zgorski, Bolo Books
“A stand-out, twisty debut . . . Kim, a former lawyer, clearly knows her stuff . . . a masterfully plotted novel about the joys and pains of motherhood, the trick mirror nature of truth, and the unforgiving nature of justice.”
“Powerful courtroom scenes invite comparisons to Scott Turow, but Kim’s nuanced exploration of guilt, resentment, maternal love, and multifaceted justice may have stronger appeal for readers.”
“I know this story but have never seen it in a novel―the struggles of the Korean immigrant entrepreneur in America, with a technology that seems like magic, who can go from hero to villain in an instant, now at the center of what is possibly a murder―a bright seam of crisis, mystery, and love emerges in these pages. Kim has written a bold debut novel about science and immigration and the hopes and fears each engenders―unforgettable and true.”
―Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night
“Miracle Creek is a marvel, a taut courtroom thriller that ultimately tells the most human story imaginable, a story of good intentions and reckless passions. Compelling, generous, at once empathetic and unsparing. I am wrecked, I am heartened and hopeful, which means, in short, that Miracle Creek is pretty much the perfect novel for these chaotic times in which we live.”
―Laura Lippman, author of Sunburn
“Miracle Creek grabbed me hard right from the start. This is a terrific courtroom thriller, a sly whodunit that’s beautifully written and also full of heart.”
―Scott Turow, author of Testimony
“Miracle Creek is an engrossing puzzle-box of a book: a twisty courtroom drama that also manages to be emotionally astute, culturally perceptive, and deeply empathetic. Angie Kim tackles hot-button subjects with a delicate touch, proving herself a master of both portraiture and storytelling. I loved this novel.”
―Janelle Brown, author of the New York Times bestseller Watch Me Disappear
"I love a good courtroom drama, so I love Miracle Creek. But this is more than a good thriller; it is the story of parents with children needing treatment for autism or cerebral palsy; the story of a family of Korean immigrants; the story of myriad marriages and the 'right' way to raise children in a very challenging environment. I loved this book and can't wait to introduce it to book clubs . . . if only so I can have someone to talk about it with."
―Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books & Cafe
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In the prologue, a therapeutic hyperbaric oxygen chamber operated by Korean immigrants Pak and Young explodes, killing Kitt, the mother of an autistic child, and Henry, the autistic son of Elizabeth, who has been charged with murdering both. Chapters are written, mostly in third person, from the perspectives of seven characters, unfolding over four days of Elizabeth's trial. Angie Kim's experience as a trial lawyer informs the courtroom scenes, letting the reader marvel at how malleable the truth can be depending on what facts are put forth and how they are interpreted.
But there's more to this book than dazzling courtroom pyrotechnics. Miracle Creek also takes a deep dive into the special needs parent community and nails the angsty dynamics that play out among parents who are outwardly supportive of one another while also competing and judging. Having seen for myself the interpersonal dramas described in the book, I marveled at Kim's pitch-perfect descriptions.
And Kim, herself Korean-born, slips in reminders of the multi-layered challenges facing immigrants: the conflict between old and new cultural behaviors, especially as they relate to family, the stereotypes, and the inability to distinguish Koreans from other Asians. A couple of pages in the middle of the book are thick with references to "Oriental fetishes," woks given as gifts by people unaware that the pans are associated with Chinese, not Korean cooking, and comments like "half of Berkeley's Asian now" (this casually racist observation has become commonplace, even and especially among people who should know better).
All seven narrators have something to hide, and even the most innocuous secrets -- like someone who claims to have quit smoking, but still fondles cigarettes -- can take on ominous overtones in the context of a double murder. Once I started reading this book, leapfrogging over two other books I'd already started, I had a hard time stopping, and so I polished it off in less than a day. The denouement, which I didn't see coming (I thought Kim was going to aim for an Agatha Christie finish) finessed the material in a manner that was both satisfying and absolutely logical.
Easily the most captivating piece of fiction I've read in a long, long time.
Pak and Young Yoo have immigrated from Seoul Korea, in the hope of giving their only child, Mary, a better life. Their dreams are tethered to a hyperbaric oxygen submarine set up in their backyard in rural Virginia. The 100% oxygen is purported to aid in a multitude of diagnosis including autism and infertility. The Yoo’s had a packed schedule of clients, which included mothers with their special needs children, as well as a medical doctor, until the Miracle Submarine exploded. One of the mothers is arrested and charged with two counts of murder….victims are her 8 year old son Henry and her friend Kit from her support group. What appears to be an open and shut case makes the reader realize the ramifications of trusting in initial judgment...or can a good defense attorney simply distort the truth by placing suspicion on others? The chapters alternate between seven characters, predominately over four days of trial testimony…. one year after the explosion.
I have had the privilege of working with children with autism and their parents for 30 years. There is no cure for autism, however, early intervention is key for progress. In my experience, suggest a viable intervention to a mother with a child on the autistic spectrum and within weeks many have done the research and are well versed. Angie Kim gives us a heart rendering glimpse into the challenges of life with an atypical child. Feelings of exclusion, toll on relationships, as two of the central characters are now single mothers, the competitive edge to discover the next best modality and the bond they form with each other….. Angie Kim simply nails it to perfection.
Kim gets into the hearts and minds of all of her characters. The fine nuances between right and wrong blend until it is clear just how complex each situation is and how difficult the inner struggles are. The writing is superb, the plot totally unique, the pacing breakneck. Miracle Creek is a novel that people should be discussing for a long time. It will burrow into your memory long after the stunning conclusion. If you read only one book this year, look no further. Miracle Creek is that MUST read.
. All the characters are complex and the characters both good and bad. This story is a gripping mystery with courtroom drama, a study of what parents go through with their special children, a search for hope for something that works, and the joy of very small things. There are many secrets and the turmoil of all the characters. were going through to tell of not tell. Also ethical and moral questions that are in involved in the obstruction of justice
I do not want to give many details other than the main event concerns an explosion of a hyperbaric oxygen treatment that was designed to look like a submarine. I have decided to order a copy of this book for my closest friend because I know that she will be deeply inspired by it.