Book Review: Miracle Creek

04.16.2019 | Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
Rating: 4/5 stars


In the small Virginia town of Miracle Creek, Korean immigrants, Young and Pak Yoo, run an experimental medical treatment clinic called Miracle Submarine. The treatment involves the use of a pressurized oxygen chamber that patients enter for “dives”. The treatment claims to benefit those with a wide range of issues, including autism and infertility.

A year has passed since Miracle Submarine mysteriously exploded, killing two people, and leaving a mother to one of those victims standing trial. The case is now in the court’s hands to determine who or what caused the explosion. Was it the mother who burnt out after trying every treatment option for her autistic son? Was it the Yoo family seeking a large insurance payout? Was it the protesters who had camped outside the clinic? As the trial proceeds no one’s secrets are safe.


Angie Kim’s debut novel, MIRACLE CREEK, is a legal thriller that will leave the reader in shock and awe as the courtroom drama surrounding an experimental treatment facility unravels. Kim has included a little bit of the everything for readers, as her book spans across genres, such as mystery, literary fiction, immigration, and family drama. This is a book that will get under your skin for all of the right reasons and leave you thinking about the characters even when you aren’t reading their stories.

When I first started reading MIRACLE CREEK I was a bit overwhelmed by the laundry list of characters. Kim utilizes alternating narrators to tell the story of Miracle Submarine’s explosion and she chooses to include those who have the most pertinent details for the case. Those details can range from events leading up to the explosion, critiques of others involved in the incidents, and reactions to events in the courtroom. My advice to anyone experiencing the same concern is to power through. You come to learn more about each narrator through their individual sections, as well as other narrator’s sections. It definitely gets easier!


As I started to find my footing in the story of MIRACLE CREEK, I was amazed by the depth of what this book offers. I originally selected it from Book of the Month because it was the thriller pick for April and I tend to always select that option. When I saw it was a legal thriller I thought even better! What I didn’t realize was that this book covers so many important topics that it can span several genres and that the mystery is really not the focus of this story. The mystery is of course the reason why the book exists, but it’s also only the start of something deeper.

At the heart of MIRACLE CREEK is the Korean immigrant family running the clinic. The Yoo family has a fascinating and heart-wrenching tale. You can feel the struggle that Pak, Young, and Mary have been through pouring out of Kim’s writing. In a similar way you can feel the struggles of several parents who bring their children to Miracle Submarine for treatment. The heartache that comes with the joy of raising a child with special needs. The impressive lengths that these parents will go to try to give their children only the best.

If you’re on the fence about this one because of the massive hype surrounding it, I suggest you give it a try for yourself!

Note: I read this book as an audiobook, which was narrated by Jennifer Lim. I highly recommend this book in audio format if you are an avid listener or looking to give your first audiobook a shot! In looking through other books Lim has narrated, I spotted Little Fires Everywhere, which has been on my TBR for forever, so now I think I have a new backlist audiobook to get to soon!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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