By Angie Kim
Sarah Crichton Books, 9780374156022, April 2019, 368pp.
The Short of It:
I do not know what I thought this book was about before reading it but I certainly didn’t think it was about a hyperbaric oxygen therapy accident.
The Rest of It:
I simplified that blurb a little because Miracle Creek opens with a terrible accident but then quickly turns into a court room drama, a mystery, a story with an immigration thread and even a bit of scandal.
Young, Pak, and their teen daughter Mary, run a hyperbaric oxygen therapy business that they call Miracle Submarine. Adults and children, enter the chamber to partake of its healing properties. On this particular day, the normal group enters but there is a terrible explosion which kills one adult and one, autistic child, Henry. The accident leaves several other injured as well.
It’s believed that Elizabeth set the fire which caused the oxygen tanks to explode. Elizabeth being the mother of Henry. The prosecution believes that she wanted her child dead, due to his burdening care. This triggers all kinds of thoughts about the care for special need kids.
The story bounces between characters. Who did it? Who set the fire? Why? Many of the witnesses are lying but for different reasons. In all honesty, this story was difficult to get through. There is a lot of back and forth and even though it revolves around just a handful of characters, I had to keep reminding myself who they were.
However, the ending… the ending was beautiful and sad and left me with thoughts about how hard it would be to care for a special needs child. How hard it is for people from other countries to make a living here. How hard it is to fit in. So I think in the end, I liked it much more than I thought I would.
I read this for my book club discussion which was cancelled due to social distancing but we may try to meet via Zoom so we can discuss it. Have you read it?
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