My 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.
Netgalley provided me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. Miracle Creek was my final read of 2018 and I couldn’t have chosen a better book to complete my reading challenge. The book engrosses from the very first second and unravels a beautiful but painful story.
The story revolves around the Yoo-family, originally from Korea, who have settled in the town of Miracle Creek and provide an alternative form of medicine in the form of a hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) tank that they have called Miracle Submarine. The business is running well and they have multiple clients with varying conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy and infertility. However, one day the HBOT chamber explodes, killing a boy and an adult and injuring several other people. The deceased boys mother, Elizabeth, is put on trial for murder, but as the reader you quickly find out that all is not as it seems and that every person involved with the HBOT has secrets to hide.
The thing that I love the most about this book is that it gives such a great insight into things I didn’t know much about before. I had never heard of HBOT, so it was really interesting to read about this form of alternative medicine and its pro’s and cons. Moreover, it gives a great insight into the lives of parents with special needs children and the turmoil of emotions that comes with it. Most of all, I appreciate the author’s description of the hardship that immigrants feel, from separated goose families and clashing cultural values to racism. The author portrays the struggle and the emotions concerning these issues perfectly, which makes the book very realistic and makes you sympathize with the characters. Since most characters get their own point of view, it also gives them depth and makes them multidimensional.
While the story focuses greatly on all kinds of issues, the courtroom drama is at the center of it all and I believe that the author did a great job with this. At times it really feels like being in a courtroom. It also serves as a great way to further the plot, since more details come to light with each person taking the stand or the more both lawyers try to tear each others clients down. It’s a story full of twists and turns and when you finally think you have it all figured out, there is another plot twist to keep you on your toes.
So although it is a mystery and a courtroom drama, there is also a lot of room for characterization and the exploration of various issues and what is morally right and wrong. I loved Miracle Creek from beginning to end and would really recommend that you buy the book once it comes out in April.