An addictive courtroom thriller about a tight-knit community and the murder trial that turns neighbor against neighbor.
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Why I love it
Clear your calendars, put your phones on airplane mode, and get ready to hear the sounds of your heartstrings being plucked! This stunning debut is a family drama, courtroom thriller, and a mystery, all of which add up to one of the most incredible novels of 2019.
The road to hell is paved with questionable inventions … The Miracle Submarine is an experimental medical treatment device, essentially a pressurized oxygen chamber, run by Korean immigrants Young and Pak Yoo in rural Virginia. Though it's first considered revolutionary, public opinion turns against the device when it explodes, killing two people and tearing a community apart. Who is at fault? As the trial at the heart of the book unfolds, we gradually learn about the town, its secrets, and how the Yoos’ hopes and dreams became a nightmare.
My two-word review: Jaw. Dropping. I was absolutely floored by this book! Reading it felt like opening a present I had been hiding in my heart. It had so many important, heartbreaking messages about immigration, parenting, and responsibility. And knowing that Kim herself is a Korean immigrant, a former trial lawyer, and mother to a “submarine” patient, lends a whole additional level of credibility to the book. I cannot stress enough what an amazing writer Kim has shown herself to be with her very first novel, and I hope we get to read more from her very soon!
In the small town of Miracle Creek, 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.
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I absolutely loved this book, and I have been rec’ing it to everyone. Part family tragedy, part immigrant story, part compelling mystery, all wrapped up in the best courtroom drama I’ve read in years.
With gorgeous, evocative prose and complex, compelling characters, this legal and family drama shines. The author’s background adds authenticity. It’s a beautiful and emotional mystery worth savoring.
West Chester, PA
Really well written and it’s obvious that Angie Kim did a lot of research for this novel. I was kept guessing throughout the trial and I didn’t know what to expect from the ending. Really enjoyed this
I loved this book! It is written from several characters’ perspectives, so initially it was a little hard to keep everyone straight. But once I had the characters sorted out, I flew through this one!
I’m a huge fan of any courtroom drama and this was so well done. Amazing character development, edge of my seat guessing. My son has ADHD and I struggle with parenting him so I related to Elizabeth ;(
I love the fast pace of this book and how the story took me on a wonderful journey of who-done-it’s and what-are-they-hidding’s. I love to be taken by surprise by a story and this one did just that.
A great plot with so many twists and turns. Told through multiple vantage points, you feel for so many characters as they come to understand their role in the main tragedy. I couldn’t stop reading it!
New Providence, NJ
This one packs a bit of a punch, but doesn’t hesitate to discuss hard topics & look at matters from all angles. I really enjoyed how all the characters are multifaceted & appreciated the tough topics.
Is it a courtroom thriller? Or is it a timely immigration story. An examination of the struggles that come with parenting a child with special needs? Kim’s excellent novel is all that and then some!
San Jose, CA
The mystery drove the reading progress but most importantly, the intentional but not trying-too-hard hilarious commentary kept me engaged the whole journey—a nice surprise and fantastic debut by Kim.
This book was extremely powerful. The author offers a glimpse at each character’s fears and speculations. The trial was easy to follow, and the entire book is incredibly believable. Highly recommend!
West Chester, OH
Angie Kim does a great job showing the intricacies/struggles families have in many stages of life, as well as the toll a trial can take on people. The multiple viewpoints just made it that much better
As a lawyer, I am always skeptical about legal thrillers. However, Angie Kim does a fantastic job with this one. I had so many mixed emotions while reading this book, & it was worth every one of them.
With modern-day, relevant issues such as children with autism and pressurized oxygen tanks, this courtroom mystery had me captivated and curious from the beginning. I loved the freshness of the story!
Compton , CA
This was one of the few books I’ve read that actually made me cry. I lack the skill to create a visual of what is happening in a book when reading but with the detail in this book it was easy to do.
This book had a slow start, but the development allowed you to fall in love with the characters. This book really showed how different a situation can look from individual perspective and experience.
A great legal thriller with family drama! A great telling on how are actions and desires affect ourselves, our loved ones, and those we interact with in our lives, even one time! A book club recommend
I loved this book! It was so engaging and interesting. My only complaint about it as a legal thriller, is that I'm a lawyer and I know a lot of the things that happened in that trial wouldn't happen.
I loved the perspective this provided on parents with special needs children. I was guessing throughout and felt connections with multiple characters. A great mystery, with information on autism also.
Elmont , NY
I LOVED THIS BOOK. The alternating perspectives slowly revealed more insight about each character, all of whom merit empathy. This is an intelligently wrought thriller centered around courtroom drama.