MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Reader reviews and comments on Miracle Creek, plus links to write your own review.

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Miracle Creek

by Angie Kim

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim X
Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • First Published:
    Apr 2019, 368 pages
    Apr 2020, 368 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Elisabeth Cook
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There are currently 8 reader reviews for Miracle Creek
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I was definitely not convinced that I would love this book, but I did nonetheless. I was in my 8th month of pregnancy with my first child and the themes of parent/child relationships and of mothers never feeling like their best was good enough were horrifying and addictive. I'd love to re-read this 10-20 years down the road and see if I feel the same amount of fear and trepidation in reading it again.
Power Reviewer

Riveting, Shocking, Disturbing - This book has it all.
Don't let the lengthy character list inside the front cover discourage you from reading this novel. The plot is truly unique and covers a wide range of emotions. Reviews which label this book as a courtroom drama simply do not do it justice; it would like saying the television series BREAKING BAD is about a science teacher with a health problem or that To Kill a Mockingbird is the story of an older dad who is a widower in a small town. Author Angie Kim weaves together the struggling Korean immigrant couple (the Yoo family) whose teenage daughter Mary is not totally thrilled with her new country. Still, Mary's lack of friends at school and privacy at home, particularly at her age, make her sympathetic.There is also a mixed-race couple (Matt Thompson and wife Janine Cho) who are enjoying their financial success as medical professionals despite a traumatic injury to radiologist Matt. However, characters whose names are further down on the list (which extends to a second page) have pivotal roles as well. There are some small town elements such as gossip, competitiveness among the mothers (who"mothers" best?) and emotional struggles while raising children with autism, cerebral palsy and ADHD. The characters' lives become more deeply involved as a result of the experimental hyperbaric oxygenation treatment center. No character is left unaffected by the tragic event, and no reader will progress through the chapters without experiencing changing loyalties toward the characters. This is a book that lends itself to intense book club discussions.

This book stirred memories
Angie Kim's novel hooked me with the opening line! This is a murder mystery, but also it examines the life of families with special needs children as well as immigrant families in the US. Both play a major role in the story. As a mom of a daughter with autism and it forced me to go and remember the feelings I experienced in the past. I know of the intensity of daily life and the struggles, the need to feel like your child can be like other kids--especially if you can find the "right" treatment. I know that parents will do most anything to help their child and this book helped me to examined my own feeling about that as a parent. This need is also reflected in the families of the special needs children and the immigrant family. But this also is a murder trial where many people have secrets and partial truths they have revealed. I liked that it was told from multiple perspectives, which increased the clues of how the tragedy occurred and how they suspected one another. So many people had enough reasons to be the actually murderer. I was hooked from the first page to the last!
Power Reviewer
Vivian H

Who To Blame
This is a rare court room drama that caused me to feel empathy for all of its flawed characters- immigrants trying to give a daughter a chance for success in America, teen rebellion, the cultural strictures for Korean women, the mothers seeking experimental treatments for their disabled children, the guilt & hope they feel, even the protestors trying to shut the operation down. The story is told from multiple perspectives with each chapter peeling away another layer of onion. There is a lot of heartache. I thought this was an excellent first book.

Lawyer turned author presents a compelling, full-of-surprises courtroom drama
Miracle Creek is a complex courtroom suspense story that explores how many small acts, inaction, mistruths, lies of omission, etc. can combine to make one huge shit storm. I liked it. The novel focuses on 4 days of a trial as everyone's motives and stories unravel. I was pulled in enough to consume the book over 2 days. Some may not find it action-packed enough - it is an exploration of the human psyche - motivations and the stories we tell ourselves and others to justify our behavior. It leaves every single character exposed and flawed, and not necessarily likable. If this intrigues you then you will probably enjoy the book.

The author is a lawyer - and her attention to detail was noticeable and appreciated.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Frances N

Guilt and Lies
This is a well-written, but very sad book about the aftermath of an explosion with deaths at a hyperbaric clinic. All of the characters are suffering and dissembling in some form and the reader feels their pain and sympathizes.
While this book deserves more praise than I am giving it, I would not recommend reading it during a shelter-in-place quarantine (as I did) because it is a bit suffocating.

Truth and consequences
The book grabbed my interest from the first page. An explosion of a hyperbaric chamber killing some of the patients. A mystery of who set the fire that caused the explosion. It seemed a cautionary tale for how quickly people judge one another based on their own experiences and prejudices with little knowledge of truth or understanding of others and what they may be enduring.
Judy G

What about this HBOT?
Very early in this book a trial begins regarding an explosion in an HBOT pure oxygen chamber. Throughout the rest of the book the chapters were woven together leading to the revelation of an unknowing murderer. For me there was no avid page turning. It seemed each pick up and put down of the book revealed only more of the same descriptions of character perspectives without building depth of the character. I found no attachment to any of the characters in this book with the exception of Elizabeth who happened to mirror a family member in my life. While there was nothing wrong with the writing per se it failed to intrigue or inspire. The HBOT centering of the novel did not develop into a centering for the characters nor into a reader’s conclusion of such a treatment as beneficial or fraudulent. I continued reading based on my obligation to my Book Club. For these reasons I can only rate this an average read.
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