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.