Miracle Creek

Miracle Creek

Book - 2019
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A dramatic murder trial in the aftermath of an experimental medical treatment and a fatal explosion upends a rural Virginia community where personal secrets and private ambitions complicate efforts to uncover what happened. --Publisher
Publisher: New York : Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780374156022
0374156026
Branch Call Number: FIC KIM, ANGIE
Characteristics: 355 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

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h
hundalsrus
Apr 08, 2021

This novel is noted as a literary courtroom thriller – I never thought I would read this one and assumed it wouldn’t be my vibe just from the genre. It was picked by a fellow book club member as our read for March and I really enjoyed it! It kept me on my toes but also had the introspection that I love from literary fiction.

It covers so many topics – immigration, race, medical diagnoses, parenthood, ethics, morals, and justice. I enjoyed seeing the different parts of the story unveil and not knowing whose story to believe and who is telling the truth.

One of my favorite quotes from this novel relates to the general chaos of life: “But that was the way life worked. Every human being was the result of a million different factors mixing together - one million sperm arriving at the egg at exactly a certain time; even a millisecond off, and another entirely different person would result. Good things and bad - every friendship and romance formed, every accident, every illness - resulted from the conspiracy of hundreds of little things, in and of themselves inconsequential.”

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BARosen1112
Mar 08, 2021

Former trial lawyer Angie Kim's excellent debut novel is a mystery and a legal thriller. It's also a serious exploration of what makes life worth living, the immigrant experience, and the effect of lies on family, and the very transient nature of truth. Told from several viewpoints, the story is about a Korean immigrant, Pak Yoo, who runs a hyperbaric oxygenation facility, an "alt medicine" treatment for, among other things, autism. As the story opens, a fire at the facility kills a child, a parent, and causes terrible injuries to everyone, both physical and psychological. A mother who was "absent" that day is on trial for murder, but author Kim gives us several other viable alternatives for who started the deadly fire, including Pak, his wife Young and teenaged daughter Mary. Or is it the most vocal of a group of militants protesting the facility? Kim does not skimp on her characters, we get to know them as real people. Equal parts page-turner and serious exploration of the above themes, this one feels like a major advance in the legal thriller.

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gloryb
Dec 01, 2020

Story about a Korean immigrant's family that is fatally intertwined with several families with special needs children. The story is told through the perspectives of 5 characters, each having chapters to tell their side of the background to the courtroom drama. The author, a lawyer herself and a mother of a child with health issues, is well placed to write this story. The description of the mothers' lives with special needs kids is very well done to the point of being overdone for me, but the author certainly succeeds in showing the thoughts, the emotions, and the actions of these mothers to improve their childrens' lives. Words do not fail this author! From the standpoint of a lawyer, the author also is familiar with clients' white lies, their tailored replies to probing questions, withholding vital information, and different views of the facts. Her courtroom setting is not the boring Q&A session of a Perry Mason drama. The novel was an enjoyable read with many insights uncommon in a murder mystery book.

s
sjarrell0
Jul 20, 2020

Loved the plot & most of the characters- and I did not see the ending coming. Though I enjoyed most of the book there was some graphic scenes that were not needed and I was very uncomfortable reading them.

k
kawidman
Apr 06, 2020

A legal drama, which is rare for me! But this book made me want to get more into the genre, because it was very compelling. It had been on my list for awhile, but I bumped it up thanks to The Stacks podcast. If you read the book I highly recommend listening to the episode about it because I guarantee you’ll want to talk about it with someone and/or hear other people talk about it because there’s a lot to discuss. The story is centered around a trial set to prosecute a woman for the explosion of a unique medical center, an explosion that killed two (including her son) and injured several others. Kim explores race, disability, parenthood, and grief in very interesting ways and effectively keeps you guessing throughout. I did feel a little disappointed by the ending, but I appreciated the way she handled a large cast of characters, which is something that can easily annoy me if not done well. Also her imagery was really good!

d
duckcalldan
Jan 12, 2020

An explosion at a facility for special needs kids turns out wasn’t an accident. Sounds interesting.

z
zephyr74
Dec 30, 2019

I don’t understand the criticisms of the plot being obvious or poor character development...I thought this was a brilliant book! A thriller but heart-rending at the same time, touching on topics you don’t usually have in courtroom dramas such as what immigrants experience and parents’ devotion to disabled children. An amazing read!

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EljayJohnson
Dec 03, 2019

In this first novel, author Angie Kim takes a could-be-tired genre - the courtroom drama - and adds layers and goes in unexpected directions. There is a fire at an alternative healthcare facility catering to disabled children and a mother and a child are killed. Kim tells her story through alternating viewpoints and her ability to create and manage her large cast of characters is extraordinary. Her themes of family, immigration, disability/caregiving are seamlessly woven into an engrossing narrative. By the end, I was bruised by this heart-wrenching book.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Dec 02, 2019

This mystery/court room drama unwinds slowly but is really well structured. A unique look at how when everyone is telling little lies for their own selfish reasons, the truth gets incredibly muddled.

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NedSu
Sep 27, 2019

I waited a few days before commenting about this debut novel. For a first novel of courtoom murder intrigue, this one is very good. While I was a little disappointed in the ending, it was well worth the read. I find myself wondering if this author has another novel to write. The amalgamation of her real life as a lawyer and a Korean made this novel even better than the normal courtroom thriller or murder mystery. I hope that she has more in her because I did like this first novel.

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