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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Mystery/Courtroom Drama Intriguing, But Still Just an Okay Read for Me

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Not everyone is on board with the idea of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), but that's the business Pak and Young Yoo run out of their garage.  Using a submarine-like chamber, the Korean immigrants offer the treatment to patients suffering from everything from infertility to cerebral palsy to autism.  While some tout the miraculous healing power of pressurized oxygen, others are skeptical, while still others will stop at nothing to get the Yoos' operation shut down.  When their "Miracle Submarine" explodes, killing two people and leaving Pak paralyzed, the Yoos become the center of a fierce legal battle to determine who was at fault.     

As the trial progresses, revealing ugly secrets about everyone involved, it provides more questions than answers.  How did the explosion happen?  Was it an accident or the result of the Yoos' negligence?  Did someone purposely rig the submarine to explode?  If so, who?  And why?  Did the Yoos do it in order to collect the insurance money needed to send their daughter to college?  Were the protestors on-site that day desperate enough to risk people's lives to prove their point?  Or was it Elizabeth Ward, the exhausted mother of a little boy with too many problems, trying to put them both out of their misery?  At the heart of the matter is one very big question:  How far will parents go to save their children?  When the truth finally comes out, it will shock everyone, changing lives forever.

Miracle Creek, a debut by Angie Kim, is an absorbing novel that examines some very intriguing questions.  It's depressing as can be, but also compelling and thought-provoking.  Most of the characters are empathetic if not exactly likable; it's their stories that really bring the novel to life.  Parents, especially those of children with disabilities, will identify with characters like Elizabeth Ward, Teresa Santiago, and Kitt Kozlowski—all of whom are fervently seeking ways to deal with kids with severe challenges.  Readers may not agree with their individual choices, but they can at least understand the motivations that propel them.  In the end, while I found Miracle Creek engrossing and its storyline interesting, it turned out to be just an okay read for me.  I liked it, didn't love it.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of novels by Celeste Ng)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for strong language, violence, blood/gore, sexual content, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of Miracle Creek from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.
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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain



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