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A multi-faceted, multi-voiced debut novel that is at the same time personal and heartfelt—chronicling a family in flux, trying to find their individual and collective way—and also tells a larger, cultural story, one of our time, of how we live and hope and dream now.

A car accident has left young Anabelle Vincent in a coma-like state—unable to move or speak. Her mother spends her days and nights taking care of her frozen child, but Anabelle’s father has left: unable to cope, broken under the responsibility of having been the car’s driver. Then, one day, a visiting friend experiences what seems like a miracle. She thinks it’s because of Anabelle. Word spreads. There are more visitors. More miracles. But is there a connection? And does it matter? Will Anabelle ever wake up, and if she does, will the miracles cease?

Andrew Roe has crafted an intricate story, told by Anabelle, her parents, and the visitors, who include neighbors, a priest, the affluent and the downtrodden. What becomes clear is that life’s cruelties show no prejudice, but becoming a believer—in something, anything, even if you don’t understand it—can bring salvation.

More than a novel about a family in crisis, THE MIRACLE GIRL tells a larger cultural story, of how we live and hope and dream.

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Review quotes
“[An] assured debut . . . Overfamiliarity has diluted the significance of the word ‘miracle’--used to describe diets, cures, even sandwich spread--but Roe suggests that the miraculous is a perpetual human craving. The Miracle Girl is a hopeful meditation on the mysteries of faith.” —The New York Times Book Review

“A treatise on modern religion and theology as well as a stunning exegesis of the world beyond our empirical nature, it is above all a wonderful study and story of the multi-faceted, often miraculous sides of human nature.”—Author Exposure

“Roe creates characters who feel real, who are beautiful and flawed and full of desire and regret and love and pain. He brings us into a world where terrible things happen to ordinary people and it’s hard not to want a miracle girl to save them. And, because we recognize this world, we want that miracle girl to be real, to save us, too.” —Arizona Daily Sun

“[A] “winning debut . . . Roe's story feels just right for our desperate and despairing time, when a miracle--any miracle--will do . . . Lively, pitch-perfect and assured.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Roe’s exploration of the need for belief makes for a strong debut.” —Booklist

“While the novel features a cast of lovable losers and fortune's fools right out of a Nathanael West novel, Roe's takes on hope, faith, and our willingness to believe makes The Miracle Girl a memorable debut.”—San Diego CityBeat

“An uplifting debut.” —Coastal Living

“Andrew Roe’s novel struggles to contain the breadth of the author’s talent. There is a precision and purpose in each sentence. The characters are steeped in complexity. These are people we all know, struggling with both the familiar and the magnificent. A stunning and captivating debut.” —Jason Mott, author of The Wonder of All Things

“To believe or not to believe--that is the question facing all who are touched by Annabelle, the comatose ‘miracle girl’ at the swirling center of Andrew Roe's dazzling debut. But The Miracle Girl is more than an exploration of the mysteries of faith. It's also the unforgettable story of one family's struggle against tragedy. The result is an uplifting miracle of a book.” —Will Allison, author of Long Drive Home

“In Andrew Roe's The Miracle Girl, we're reminded that the desire for miracles always connotes dissatisfaction, even as it articulates a hope. Roe deftly explores this paradox with clean, sharp prose; the novel's intuitive, shifting structure (providing not only different character's perspectives but press releases, documents, and, really productively, comments on web message boards) generates a multifaceted exploration into what it means to believe. Also, Roe's novel examines the strange responsibility of being believed in. A stunning, confident debut.” —Peter Rock, author of The Shelter Cycle

“Look at Andrew Roe’s The Miracle Girl from one angle and you’ll see an incisive and insightful critique of America at the millennium and today, investigating where we put our faith and why. The greatest of Roe’s achievements in this captivating debut is a memorable feat of intense empathy. Roe inhabits characters who are desperate to believe and reveals to us their needs and wounds and hopes, and he does so with kindness, generosity, and wisdom. This is a novel about what it means to be human, to seek connection and hope and maybe even transcendence in the world around us.” —Doug Dorst, co-author of S
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Publication date
April 21, 2015