Miracle Creek: A Novel
by Angie Kim
Hardcover- $13.50

The “gripping… page-turner” (Time) hitting all the best of summer reading lists, Miracle Creek is perfect for book clubs and fans of ...

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  "miracle creek" by Carolynr (see profile) 05/03/19

3.5
agree with many of the reviews. Lots of twists and turns. Lots of suspects. If you are a parent, you can see yourself in many of these mothers. will make for excellent discussion

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/25/19

 
  "" by ebach (see profile) 12/12/19

Although one third of all book reviews are fake, i.e., they are written either by people paid to write good book reviews or by friends of the author, this is not one of them. You can believe it: MIRACLE CREEK is probably the best book you will read in a long while.

Although the book flap says that the main characters are a family and a single mother, the book is actually told from the viewpoints of several characters, and I would say that each of them is also a main character.

Simply put, two people die in MIRACLE CREEK, and a single mother is put on trial for the murders. But what really happened?

Several characters have chapters devoted to their viewpoints. Turns out that lies and secrets abound among all of them. There are so many lies and secrets that I sometimes lost track. You may end up thinking the no one person was responsible.

 
  "" by KM (see profile) 03/14/20

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/08/20

 
  "" by denisejohnson (see profile) 06/15/20

 
  "Good psychological mystery" by thewanderingjew (see profile) 06/16/20

Miracle Creek, Angie Kim, author; Jennifer Lim, narrator
Pak Yoo decided that his family should move to America. Although Young does not wish to move, Pak is the man of the family, and he makes the decisions. Young and her daughter Mary move to America first. In school, Mary is taunted by the children because she does not speak the language and does not dress like they do. She wishes she was back in Korea. When her father arrives, they open up a medical business in Miracle Creek, Virginia. Pak is a licensed operator of Hyperbaric chambers. He builds a chamber resembling a submarine and begins to treat patients. Hyperbaric treatments are used for improving health by exposing the patient to pure oxygen for a period of time. It is supposed to improve the condition of children suffering from autism, cerebral palsy and other illnesses and is also supposed to improve fertility. It was for this reason that Matt Thompson found himself in a chamber with other families whose children suffered from autism and CP. Because the chamber is highly flammable, it has to be monitored very carefully.
When a tragic fire suddenly occurs, destroying the chamber, two patients suffer a horrible death, and others are injured including Matt, Mary Yoo and Pak Yoo. Elizabeth Ward is arrested for the murder of Kitt Kozlowski, the mother of TJ an autistic child and Henry Ward, her autistic son who had been improving steadily. Elizabeth had been accused of possibly being a Munchausen mother because she was obsessed with Henry’s autism. Even though he improved, she constantly sought more and more medical treatments for him, some of which were questionable and unproven. The prosecutor makes it seem like Elizabeth abused Henry as he attempts to prove that she deliberately set the fire that caused the explosion inside the chamber.
Did Elizabeth plan this cold blooded violent murder scene? Was it an accident? If Elizabeth didn’t plan it, who did? There are so many deceptions and misdirections that the reader will be hard pressed to guess the identity of the real murderer. The author has carefully created the picture of an angry, unhappy teen with her hormones at war with each other, of parents overrun with the burden of taking care of a child that will never get better, of a man who finds his desire is misplaced and misused, and of people overcome with pride causing them to make foolish decisions. As an immigrant herself, Kim understood the psyche of her main characters. She understood the isolation of being in a strange country without friends or knowledge of the language, of being teased and rejected and subjected to a kind of racism. Because she came from a background similar to the Yoos, she was able to paint an accurate picture of their lifestyle, culture and values, especially their emphasis on providing their child with a good education and an advantageous prospect for the future.
The author’s background and career inform her writing lending credibility and authenticity to the trial scenes. In Miracle Creek, the trial is major news and the courtroom is packed. There are photographers and journalists present. The lawyer’s questions to elicit evidence are well put. Soon it is apparent that the effort to defend the client or convict the client, isn’t so much concerned with getting at the truth, as it is to convince the jury of whatever the lawyer’s approach is going to be, whether it is a sympathetic view of the accused or to point a finger at someone else’s guilt to redirect the focus on another suspect, and in that way, disprove the client’s guilt. They are not interested in presenting all the facts, but only those that serve their purpose. The cross examinations were thrilling. The questions elicited tense responses and the atmosphere in the courtroom was strained. This tension and the witness’s responses were palpable. The reader is placed inside the courtroom.
The novel features flawed characters who are leading double lives of sorts, keeping many secrets from each other and telling frequent lies. They seem to be selfish, simply trying to protect their own reputations so the truth about their own nefarious behavior is not discovered. This secrecy creates further tragedies and few escape unscathed. So many questions are raised? Was there negligence, deceit, perjury and infidelity? Was there justice? Could a parent make the decision that Young made, knowing it wouldn’t serve much of anything but a moral judgment? Was the ultimate verdict fair? Could the outcome have been any different? How far should a parent go to protect a child, or a wife or a husband to protect a spouse? Do secrets serve any good purpose? How do we parent? Do we overdo it or do we neglect our duty? What makes a parent abusive? What is abuse? When does the act of caring go too far? Are there any secrets safe to hide behind? Can lies be forgiven? Can arrogance be forgiven? Can pride bring a person down? Is it sometimes wrong to tell the whole truth? Would it be better to keep a terrible deed a secret if nothing is accomplished by revealing it? Can a guilty person live with the guilt of not confessing? Is punishment always necessary to change a person’s behavior or bring about justice? I leave it to the reader to decide.

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/03/20

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