Korean immigrants Pak and Young Yoo live in Miracle Creek, Virginia and operate a controversial healing mechanism, a submarine-like apparatus that purports to heal patients through oxygen therapy. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy or HBOT treatments have helped many with a variety of medical issues from children with autism to men with infertility problems. On one late summer evening, the HBOT exploded during a treatment session, killing two patients, injuring another and putting the Yoo’s daughter Mary in a coma. When the origin of the fire that caused the explosion is determined to be arson, focus is placed on Elizabeth Ward, the mother of the young boy who died. Through the trial, we get the narratives of those present that day and they reveal a labyrinth of secrets and lies that call into question who was responsible for the HBOT tragedy.
I’m so thankful to my Goodreads and blogger friends because without them, I would never have selected this book to read. It has just about everything…courtroom drama, mystery, intrigue, humor and tragedy. It’s also an excellent exploration of the human condition with all its messiness and is educational in not only introducing this treatment phenomenon but providing much needed insight about the caretakers for children with autism and the immigrant experience.
I struggled to put this book down once I started and finished one afternoon after only intending to listen for an hour or two. The characters are brilliantly developed, revealing unending layers for each. By the end, there aren’t any ambiguities about any of them. My list of suspects changed with each narrative transition as clues were added throughout. The narrator was SO good, adding even more to an already great story. It’s difficult to get my head around this being a debut novel because it reflects the style of a much more seasoned writer. If you listen to the audiobook, which I heartily recommend, be sure to listen to the interview with the author at the end, conducted by the editor. This is an extraordinarily good story that I recommend to everyone!
- Release Date: April 16, 2019
- Narrator: Jennifer Lim
- Audio Length: 14 hours, 5 minutes
- Publisher: Macmillan Audio