This is the most recent book to take over the #bookstagram. All the hype. It’s not my typical genre/read…courtroom thrillers. But everyone is hype-ing it up and I’m a sucker for “seeing what everyone is talking about.” And it seemed like a good page turner for the summer, so I added myself to the library waitlist.
“That was the thing about lies: they demanded commitment.”
Mircale Creek takes place in rural Virginia, a year after a tragic accident at an experimental treatment facility causes the death of a boy with autism and the mother of another young patient. The thing is, it wasn’t an accident. It was arson. And we’re watching the trial unfold, with all the secrets kept, the mysteries revealed and the drama that entails.
This was, absolutely, a riveting page-turner. Like I said, this is not my normal genre, so I don’t have a lot to compare it to, but I could not put it down. I basically read it entirely in one day because I had no self-control in wanting to see what happened next. The story was told in exactly the right way, with spectacular pacing. I loved getting all the different perspectives as things came to light. Since we learned what the characters learned as they learned it, it was the perfect way to reveal details a little at a time. And seriously, because of how well it was done, I think I suspected every single character at least once (and some of them twice or thrice). That does mean that when the final reveal happened, it wasn’t totally a surprise, because I’d already had some suspicions (so it wasn’t like, gasp-worthy), but at the same time, there was still some shock because my suspicions had been all over the place. I’m not sure how to describe it any better, but bottom line is that it was good. I also want to mention the courtroom dialogue. This was, obviously, a huge part of the story, and it was flawless. It is so clear that Kim has had a ton of experience in that arena and reading it, being consistently impressed with all the small details and twists of language, was a phenomenal experience.
In addition to the spectacular courtroom/”mystery” writing, this book went a step further. This was a really difficult read for me at times and I am not even a parent, much less a parent of a child with special needs. There was an incredible depth of perspective into that particular type of parenting, in all its levels and shades and appearances, and (again, remember I have no actual personal experience here), I felt that it was all portrayed with incredible sensitivity and perception. Many tough, but important, questions were explored, in a very human way. I also want to mention that a number of similarly tough family questions were brought up, in the way the story ended. I’ll keep it vague in order to avoid spoilers, but I will say that no one comes out looking good, in a way that’s depressingly realistic. However, the way it rings true adds a lot of depth to the outcome. It was hard to read, in a lot of ways, yet it felt right within the context of the story that develops.
All in all, this is one that I stand with the hype crowd on. It’s a nail-biter, can’t-put-it-down, book and I was thoroughly entertained and (in a not overwhelming way) in my feels as I read. I totally recommend it on those qualifications, but also want to be sure that everyone knows that there’s no “rosy ending” to be found (and content warning for fire/explosions if that’s an issue for you – it’s not for me and it was still super hard to read), so just FYI there. But yea, this is a great one.
“…as bad as it could get, normalcy was a beautiful thing to those who lost.”
“…we all have moments. But they’re just moments, and they pass. […] So if a tiny part of us has these thoughts a tiny part of the time, thoughts we shut out as soon as they creep in, is that so bad? Isn’t that just human?”
“Good things and bad – every friendship and romance formed, every accident, every illness – resulted from the conspiracy of hundreds of little things, in and of themselves inconsequential.”