Miracle Creek by Angie Kim | A slow-burn courtroom drama!

I did it, guys! I finally managed to finish this book! It only took me… what? two and a half months? 

Maybe I should have DNF’d it as soon as I realized that this book wasn’t for me, which happened at exactly 7% into the book. Or maybe I made the right decision to actually read all of it, so I wouldn’t wonder later on if I misjudged the book. I don’t know. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Right after finishing «Miracle Creek» I gave it 2 stars on Goodreads, but as I sat down to write my review, I thought it would be unfair to the author and the book itself to give it a lower rating when I couldn’t pin any flaws to it, other than “it wasn’t for me”. 

As a result, I won’t be rating the book, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it! 

goodreads blurb:

In rural 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,” it’s also a repository of hopes and dreams: the dream of a mom that her child can be like other kids; the dream of a young doctor desperate to cure his infertility and save his marriage; the dream of the Yoos themselves, Korean immigrants who have come to the United States so their teenage daughter can have a better life. 

When the oxygen chamber mysteriously explodes, killing two people, all these dreams shatter with it, and the ensuing murder trial uncovers imaginable secrets and lies. In Miracle Creek, Angie Kim takes a classic form—courtroom drama—and draws on her own experience as an immigrant, a lawyer, and the mother of a real-life “submarine” patient to turn it into something wholly original, unputdownable . . . real. This is a spellbinding novel by an exciting new voice.


Thank you Netgalley and Sarah Crichton Books – Farrar, Straus and Giroux for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the company or its affiliates in any way.

1 – What should have been an exciting page-turner turned into a brooding debate about immigration and behavior of parents of disabled children. I should have been more careful picking this book up. All I saw was “page-turner”!  “thriller”! “courtroom drama”! and fell for these descriptions without paying attention to the most important part: “Miracle Creek is perfect for book clubs and fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng”

And here lays the first problem, I’m not a fan of Liane Moriarty or Celeste Ng. I read «Nine Perfect Strangers» by Liane Moriarty earlier this year, and I read «Little Fires Everywhere» by Celeste Ng about a year ago, and while Celeste Ng book was just an”okay” experience, I thoroughly hated Liane Moriarty’s «Nine Perfect Strangers». 

If you are a fan of their works, this book might be for you.

2 – While I can see what other people might enjoy about this book, I just couldn’t connect with any of the characters. I didn’t care about any of them, which is a big issue when you are reading a courtroom drama with multiple twists and turns, suspicions and accusations. It didn’t bother me when the evidence would turn against certain characters. I wasn’t interested in the main “who’s done it?” question. And I surely wasn’t interested in the drama. 

3 – The only element of the story that was entertaining to read was the cross-examination done by the two attorneys. That part I found very fascinating, how they twisted the facts to their own benefit, how crafty they were with their questions. From such a vast array of characters, is it weird that I liked the attorneys the most even though they were only used as tools to discover the truth? 

While I didn’t enjoy «Miracle Creek» by Angie Kim, I don’t think it’s a bad book. It definitely deserves all the attention it’s getting. Just be aware that it might not be for everyone. 

So, who would I recommend this book to? 

  1. Fans of Liane Moriarty’s and Celeste Ng books. There are a lot of similarities in the writing style and the way the novel is structured.  
  2. Fans of slow-burn mystery novels, filled with secrets, gossip and drama. 
  3. Fans of literary fiction and character driven novels. 


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17 thoughts on “Miracle Creek by Angie Kim | A slow-burn courtroom drama!

  1. Great review and thank you for your honest opinion. As it is a courtroom drama and I like literary fiction, I will give this book a go, but I will also have in mind your warnings since neither Liane Moriarty nor Celeste Ng appeal to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice, honest review! All books aren’t for everyone. Courtroom dramas are among my favorite. Sometimes the hype though makes my expectations too high. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I honestly felt like I was so alone when I didn’t 5 star rate this book. Like you said I LIVED for the cross-examination scenes, and believe she’s an immensely talented writer, but this book didn’t work for me like I hoped it would. I actually did a mini review of it last Monday, which I linked below in case you’d like to read it! https://nerdnarrationblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/22/mini-review-monday-the-bride-test-miracle-creek/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved this review, Alex! And I really like how you pointed out exactly what you weren’t a fan of & emphasised that it’s just not a book that sat well with you rather than just straight up being a badly written book 😊

    💛 Ngoc

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah man, that’s unfortunate. I had a feeling this wouldn’t be a toooo positive review when you mentioned how long it took you to finish this one hahah At least it’s nice that you were able to identify the reasons why it didn’t for you and for whom it could. Great review, Alex! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. My relationship with this book was very strange. Basically, I knew I wouldn’t like it after reading 7% (I read on Kindle so not sure how many pages that is 😀 ). Maybe I was being too harsh on it? Idk… lol

      Liked by 1 person

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