REVIEW: Miracle Creek, Angie Kim #BLOGTOUR

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

In rural Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine - a pressurised oxygen chamber that patients enter for "dives", used as an alternative therapy for conditions including autism and 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.

Having only read one book from her (her debut, if you can believe it), I can already tell that Angie Kim is going to be absolutely everywhere. People are going to adore her, pray to her, turn her into a divinity. Her insights into the human condition, after-all, can only be described as wonderfully and starkly omniscient; a masterful evocation of our drives, our darkness, our regrets.
That is because Miracle Creek examines secrets: the thoughts in the deepest recesses of your brain, the actions that you want to push down and leave far behind. It asks questions about cultural identity, interracial relationships, motherhood and the challenges that come with raising a child with autism. And somehow, unlike many of the books I have read in the recent past, manages to do so without any sort of judgement. Kim instead just presents the actions and thoughts of the characters as they are; allowing the reader to access the scope of human emotion and come to their own conclusions about whether the actions lie in the black, or the white, or the all-too-common blurry grey-ness that falls somewhere in the middle.
Miracle Creek, therefore, is a truly magisterial study of human actions and the things that drive us; of the lies that spiral in our efforts to protect the ones we love. And, by exploring the parameters of good and bad, guilt and innocence, justice and redemption, it artfully sweeps the reader into a riptide of conflicting emotions and assures that the characters that Kim seems to have crafted so effortlessly, will stay in their minds long after they turn the final page.

Thanks to NetGalley, Hodder & Stoughton and Kate Keehan (@ReadEatRetreat) for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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