Anatomy of a Miracle: A Novel*
Jonathan Miles explores faith, science, and identity in his outstanding novel Anatomy of a Miracle. While in Afghanistan, Cameron Harris is paralyzed from the waist down by an explosion. His doctors are certain that he’ll be wheelchair-bound for life; he returns home to Biloxi, Mississippi, to live with his sister, Tanya, who becomes his caretaker. However, on a trip to Biz-E-Bee, a convenience store run by a Vietnamese immigrant couple, Cameron stands up from his wheelchair and walks unaided, a phenomenon Dr. Janice Lorimar-Cuevas, Cameron’s primary-care physician, cannot explain. When his story goes viral on social media, Cameron is inundated with Christians asking him to offer up prayer on their behalf, an offer to star in a reality television show, and a visit from a Vatican investigator. All the while, Cameron is bothered by the question of whether this was an act of God or a scientific mystery.
Cleverly written in the investigative-journalist style, Miles’s book is a truly unique piece of fiction; not only does he sprinkle character-interview quotes throughout and offer convincing social media posts, but he opens with a note on methodology and closes with acknowledgements where he thanks the characters in his book. Anatomy of a Miracle teems with seemingly effortless humor, and each of Miles’s characters is thoughtfully composed with engaging backstory and believable complexity, making this a delightful read.
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