A suspenseful courtroom drama about the explosion and murder of two people in an HBOT “submarine” in the middle of small town Virginia. This novel, although very tragic and uncomfortable, really shined. Kim wrote about grief, and the different experience of grief for each person so beautifully. I was able to easily empathize about different people’s experiences, despite not feeling like I would make the same choice myself. At the same time, the reader is presented with the uncanny feeling of not knowing what you would do in a similar situation. We cannot truly know until it happens to us.
Unfolding throughout the entire story is the uncovering of various lies from nearly everyone involved. Another form of empathy for trying to hide small discomforts that we feel don’t really have anything to do with the tragic situation at hand emerges. Airing our dirty laundry can’t have any effect on the outcome of the case, can it? So with everyone believing that their little white lies have no impact on the court case, the bury the truth deep down. It can only come unraveled when multiple parties commit to giving up their little secrets.
The experience of reading this was uncomfortable and tragic. I struggle with deaths of people. But the greater story, about loving each other and hiding details that make us unsure of our place in the world, rings true to me, and as a reader, they are things I want to explore and think about. While overwhelming at times, this book was a truly good read and I am so grateful to have stumbled upon it.