A thrilling debut novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng about how far we’ll go to protect our families—and our deepest secrets
My husband asked me to lie. Not a big lie. He probably didn’t even consider it a lie, and neither did I, at first . . .
In rural Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine—a pressurized oxygen chamber that patients enter for therapeutic “dives” with the hopes of curing issues like autism or infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos’ small community.
Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night—trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges—as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.
Angie Kim’s Miracle Creek is a thoroughly contemporary take on the courtroom drama, drawing on the author’s own life as a Korean immigrant, former trial lawyer, and mother of a real-life “submarine” patient. Both a compelling page-turner and an excavation of identity and the desire for connection, Miracle Creek is a brilliant, empathetic debut from an exciting new voice.
Praise for Miracle Creek:
“With so many complications and loose ends, one of the miracles of the novel is that the author ties it all together and arrives at a deeply satisfying?though not easy or sentimental?ending. Intricate plotting and courtroom theatrics, combined with moving insight into parenting special needs children and the psychology of immigrants, make this book both a learning experience and a page-turner. Should be huge.”
-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“I know this story but have never seen it in a novel?the struggles of the Korean immigrant entrepreneur in America, with a technology that seems like magic, who can go from hero to villain in an instant, now at the center of what is possibly a murder?a bright seam of crisis, mystery, and love emerges in these pages. Kim has written a bold debut novel about science and immigration and the hopes and fears each engenders?unforgettable and true.”
-Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night
“Miracle Creek is a marvel, a taut courtroom thriller that ultimately tells the most human story imaginable, a story of good intentions and reckless passions. Compelling, generous, at once empathetic and unsparing. I am wrecked, I am heartened and hopeful, which means, in short, that Miracle Creek is pretty much the perfect novel for these chaotic times in which we live.”
-Laura Lippman, author of Sunburn
“Miracle Creek grabbed me hard right from the start. This is a terrific courtroom thriller, a sly whodunit that’s beautifully written and also full of heart.”
-Scott Turow, author of Testimony
“Miracle Creek is an engrossing puzzle-box of a book: a twisty courtroom drama that also manages to be emotionally astute, culturally perceptive, and deeply empathetic. Angie Kim tackles hot-button subjects with a delicate touch, proving herself a master of both portraiture and storytelling. I loved this novel.”
-Janelle Brown, author of the New York Times bestseller Watch Me Disappear
“I love a good courtroom drama, so I love Miracle Creek. But this is more than a good thriller; it is the story of parents with children needing treatment for autism or cerebral palsy; the story of a family of Korean immigrants; the story of myriad marriages and the ‘right’ way to raise children in a very challenging environment. I loved this book and can’t wait to introduce it to book clubs . . . if only so I can have someone to talk about it with.”
-Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books & Cafe
Tim Coburn Photography
Angie Kim moved as a preteen from Seoul, South Korea to the suburbs of Baltimore. She attended Stanford University and Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, then practiced as a trial lawyer at Williams & Connolly. Her stories have won the Glamour Essay Contest and the Wabash Prize for Fiction, and appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, Salon, Slate, The Southern Review, Sycamore Review, Asian American Literary Review, and PANK. Kim lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and three sons.