Tag Archives: Book Club

Review: Miracle Creek

Miracle Creek

Miracle Creek
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?

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Such a Fun Age

Such a Fun Age

Such a Fun Age
By Kiley Reid
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780525541905, December 2019, 320pp.

The Short of It:

A slow build but once I got into it it was like a time bomb ready to go off.

The Rest of It:

For once, I read a buzzy book when everyone else was reading it too. Such a Fun Age is making the rounds and getting a lot of praise. It was selected for Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club and although I’ve not read all of her selections, the ones I have read have been really good. This was no exception.

Emira is at a club celebrating with her friends when her boss calls her to ask if she can possibly watch her daughter due to an emergency. One, it’s late. Two, she’s dressed for the club. Three, she’s been drinking. Although she explains this to her boss, the desperation on the other line wins out.

Minutes later, Emira finds herself with three-year-old Briar in an upscale supermarket checking out the nuts, dancing in the aisle, doing whatever it takes to keep the kid occupied while her mother, Alix, tends to her emergency. Just minutes into their visit, they begin to draw the attention of other shoppers. Emira, a young black woman, and Briar, a young white child, wandering the aisles so late at night seems out of place. So much so, that a security guard begins to question her. Emira explains that she is Briar’s babysitter, which is the truth but she knows how it looks. Things escalate. That is where the story begins.

This is one of those slow-build books. Conflict is everywhere but you know something big is coming and as the story plays out, the one word that comes to mind is EXPLOSIVE. This is a book about race but also fetishsizing race, which I thought was interesting.

Two things stood out for me. One, the story is a little gritty. Not overworked or polished which I liked very much. The author did a good job of portraying each character’s POV. None of these characters are perfect and you won’t find yourself siding with any of them. They all play a role in how the rabbit falls down the hole.  Two, the portrayal of Briar, the young child seemed a little off. She’s critical to the story but her observations were often not believable to me and they took me out of the narrative at times.

However, there is a lot to think about here and you will find yourself eagerly flipping those pages towards the end because it’s like a train wreck and you can’t possibly look away. I wouldn’t say it was a perfect story but I don’t think it was meant to be.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.