Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Contemporary
Published: April 16, 2019
A complex and absolutely absorbing drama with a heartbreaking premise. It’s incredible to think this is a debut author.
I had no idea what it was about other than it had Korean main characters. Having seen this book everywhere and learning the author was speaking in my area, I dropped everything to read it!
The writing is polished and direct. We have seven main characters, the three Yoo’s, Matt and Janine, Elizabeth and Teresa. It wasn’t confusing because each character revealed a little bit more in each chapter. The author was superb in the way she parceled out the details and kept me guessing until the end. At the event, she spoke about how the characters were unreliable with each other, but not with the reader, which made sense.
The major themes in the story include special needs children, immigration, caregiving and family. Author Angie Kim is also Korean and has been an advocate and participant for several of the alternative methods described in the book, particularly HBOT (The Miracle Submarine). It’s a real thing – FDA approved for burns, gangrene and CO2 poisoning.
That part was fascinating but so was the courtroom drama (those charts from the author, a former lawyer!) and each character’s struggle to come to terms with this tragedy and their part in it.
The special needs community is a world I don’t know much about but the things that mothers of special needs children do and deal with is awe-inspiring. I thought that part was done respectfully and with sensitivity.
The ending was a wonderful combination of redemption and healing.
Bravo Angie Kim! I’ll be looking forward to seeing what you do next.
About The Book
A thrilling debut novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng about how far we’ll go to protect our families—and our deepest secrets
My husband asked me to lie. Not a big lie. He probably didn’t even consider it a lie, and neither did I, at first . . .
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 Submarine 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 Submarine is a brilliant, empathetic debut from an exciting new voice.
About the Author
Angie Kim moved as a preteen from Seoul, South Korea, to the suburbs of Baltimore. She attended Stanford University and Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, then practiced as a trial lawyer at Williams & Connolly. Her stories have won the Glamour Essay Contest and the Wabash Prize in Fiction, and appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, Salon, Slate, The Southern Review, Sycamore Review, The Asian American Literary Review, and PANK. Kim lives in northern Virginia with her husband and three sons.
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