Miracle Creek by Angie Kim | Farrar, Straus & Giroux | Book Review

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

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Summary of Miracle Creek:

“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.”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

My Review:

Miracle Creek is an intricately crafted family and courtroom drama from debut novelist Angie Kim. I picked this one up after taking a self-imposed break with “suspense/thriller” books because they were all feeling rather similar and just couldn’t hold my attention.

Miracle Creek was a surprise hit, not only because it kept me guessing until the end, but because of it’s amazing depth and deep dive into so many important issues. While the courtroom drama was center stage, immigration, the hopes for experiencing the “American dream”, and caring for children with special needs was right there too. There were so many layers to Kim’s amazing storytelling. This wasn’t an easy read but it was so compelling and thought-provoking which was exactly what I had been missing lately with these “types” of books.

HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy) was an entirely new concept to me and I found it added so much to the storyline. Kim was able to add so much emotion during this reading journey that I was able to connect with all the different characters perspectives, even when I couldn’t always relate to their actual experiences.

I am so impressed with Angie Kim and I look forward to reading what she comes out with next!

I received an Advanced Review Copy of Miracle Creek by Angie Kim from the publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

The Au Pair by Emma Rous |Berkley Publishing Group | Book Review

The Au Pair by Emma Rous

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Book Summary:

“Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother, Danny, were born in the middle of summer at their family’s estate on the Norfolk coast. Within hours of their birth, their mother threw herself from the cliffs, the au pair fled, and the village thrilled with whispers of dark cloaks, changelings, and the aloof couple who drew a young nanny into their inner circle.

Now an adult, Seraphine mourns the recent death of her father. While going through his belongings, she uncovers a family photograph that raises dangerous questions. It was taken on the day the twins were born, and in the photo, their mother, surrounded by her husband and her young son, is smiling serenely and holding just one baby. 

Who is the child, and what really happened that day?”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

When I requested The Au Pair from the library, I was under the impression that this would be a domestic thriller. While it had mystery, it was more of a slow burn family drama with a rather unrealistic ending. There was also a fantastical element that just didn’t work for me. I did enjoy the concept of having the two narrators Seraphine and Laura tell this story while going back in forth in time.

While it was a slow build, I was initially drawn into this family mystery/literary fiction and enjoyed learning more as Seraphine started to dig into her families past. The setting was intriguing and reminded me a lot of the Lake House by Kate Morton which I loved.

There were many people to keep track of which made it a little tricky to connect some of the dots for a while but I was intrigued. The ending was just too implausible for me and left me feeling disappointed. This was a 3-star book for me because I did really enjoy the first 3/4 of this book.

You Were Always Mine by Nicole Baart | Atria Books | Book Review

You Were Always Mine by Nicole Baart

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I am starting to look back on the books I have read this year to pick out what ones were my favorites of 2018. This one sticks out as a very memorable reading experience. I read You Were Always Mine on vacation and it is the perfect book to curl up with and get lost in the story.


Book Summary:

“The acclaimed author of Little Broken Things returns with another “race-to-the-finish family drama” (People) about a single mother who becomes embroiled in a mystery that threatens to tear apart what’s left of her family.

Jessica Chamberlain, newly separated and living with her two sons in a small Iowa town, can’t believe that a tragedy in another state could have anything to do with her. But when her phone rings one quiet morning, her world is shattered. As she tries to pick up the pieces and make sense of what went wrong, Jess begins to realize that a tragic death is just the beginning. Soon she is caught in a web of lies and half-truths—and she’s horrified to learn that everything leads back to her seven-year-old adopted son, Gabriel.

Years ago, Gabe’s birth mother requested a closed adoption and Jessica was more than happy to comply. But when her house is broken into and she discovers a clue that suggests her estranged husband was in close contact with Gabe’s biological mother, she vows to uncover the truth at any cost. A harrowing story of tenacious love and heartbreaking betrayal, You Were Always Mine is about the wars we wage to keep the ones we love close, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and Jodi Picoult.”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

This book!! I had high hopes for this one and it did not disappoint! It was my first Nicole Baart and it won’t be my last. I was hooked from the beginning and it was completely engrossing. I love that it focused on the issue of adoption but it was so much more than that. I loved the mystery about Jessica’s husband and it kept me guessing until the very end.

The characters were incredibly detailed and I felt like I could totally connect with what they were going through on this journey of what makes a family and who the people around you really are…

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.