Miracle Creek, Virginia, is the home of the Yoo family. The Yoos run a hyperbaric oxygen chamber out of a barn on their property. Their clients are patients who are looking for something- anything- that will help with various ailments and are desperate enough to turn to this “Miracle Submarine” for help. The novel begins with a catastrophe at the submarine and then shifts to a year later, on the first day of the courtroom trial related to said catastrophe.
The novel shifts continually between events pre-accident and post-accident, with different chapters for each character’s point of view. Young and Mary Yoo are a mother and daughter who immigrated from Korea together but demands of life in a new country have forced distance between them. Pak Yoo moved to the US five years after his family and he and Young are not yet quite in sync. Elizabeth is trying to find a cure for her autistic son. Teresa’s daughter has cerebral palsy and is minimally verbal. Matt, a local doctor, was urged in to treatment for infertility at the Miracle Submarine by his wife Janine. Janine and her parents also happen to be investors in the company.
As the trial unfolds, the original question of what happened and who caused the accident is less cut-and-dried than it originally appears. The book is well-paced, detailed, and had me constantly second-guessing who I thought to be at fault for the tragedy. There is no pat happy ending here, but there is a satisfying conclusion nonetheless.