The Color of Heaven

McKenna Friesen

Written by Julianne MacLean


Sophie-Main character

Megan-Sophie's daughter

Cora-Sophie's mother

Matt-Cora's friend

Peter-Cora's friend


Sophie was living her dream life. She married her high school, sweet-heart, Michael Whitman, gave birth to her daughter, Megan, and was a writer for a major New York publishing company. The only thing missing in her life was a relationship with her parents. Her father has always been distant and her mother left when she was young. Sophie's father never talked liked to about her mother and Sophie never understood why, until one day when her whole world came crashing down. Megan was diagnosed with leukemia, relapsed twice, and within 2 weeks of her second relapse, she past away. Throughout the doctor visits and hospital stays, Sophie and Michael had fought so much that Michael had cheated on Sophie, got another girl pregnant, and then divorced Sophie.

Sophie's Story:

When trying to overcome her depression, Sophie decides to take a visit to her sister's house. However, on her way, she gets into a severe car accident and plummets down into an icy lake. While trying not to drown, she sees Megan ghost, and she is telling Sophie that it's not too late to make things better.

Sophie Needs Answers:

After Sophie's hallucination of Megan, she really wonders why her mother left and out on a search to find answer of her family.

Sophie arrives at her mother's house, and by her surprise, her mother, Cora, is willing to explain her past, why she left, and why her father has always been so distant.

Cora's Story:

Cora's story beings like this...

Growing up, Cora had two best friends: Peter and Matthew. After leaving his friends without saying goodbye, Matthew leaves. Hurt by Matthew's action, Peter and Cora became extremely close and eventually start dating. When Cora entered college, they began talking more about marriage which frightened Cora a lot.

To Cora's surprise, Matt arrived at her college which sent her emotions to a whirl wind. She had so many mixed feelings for Matt: she was angry at him for leaving, she was happy that he was there, but most of all she was worried what Peter was going to say.

Matt told Cora that he was in town for a few weeks visiting, but she knew there was more to it. After days of suspicion, Cora finally confronted Matt and asked why he was really there. Matt told Cora that he had a brain tumor and was going through with a procedure that gave him a 50% chance of surviving.

He wanted to apologize for all the lost years. Cora knew that she needed to be with Matt, and eventually began to fall in love with him. Later, she called Peter and broke up with him (obviously he wasn't very happy, and it is explained more dramatically in the book). Matt and Cora spent every waking moment together.

The night before his surgery arrived, and they exclaimed how much love they had for each other and agreed to get married if he made it through his surgery. As the morning rose, Matt and Cora headed to the hospital. To everyone's surprise, Peter showed up, and he told Cora that he wasn't mad at her and that he just wanted to be there for her and Matt.

Unfortunately, Matthew didn't survive the surgery.


As Cora gets to the part of Matt dying, Sophie realizing she is dreaming and having an out of body experience. She wakes up in the hospital to doctors telling her that she died but they brought her back to life. As Sophie comes back to reality, she see's, still in a dream, Matthew telling her that he is her father and that after his death, Cora married Peter.

Peter wasn't her real father and that's why they never had a very good relationship. To her father, Sophie was always looked at differently than her sister because of the event that took place between Matt, Cora, and Peter. Peter always knew that Cora loved Matt more than him, and Sophie was Matt's daughter.

Sophie was still confused as to why her mother left when she was young, and Peter told her that she died of cancer, it wasn't her choice.

Was the ending sastifactory???

The end was very satisfactory. Everything tied together and resolved very well. Sophie married Kirk Duncan and had two kids (they named their son Peter Matthew, and named their daughter Cora), and she had closure with her father about her mother.

Would you recommend this book???

I would recommend this book. Although this book had a weird "out of body experience" part, I liked the different love stories between Sophie's life and Cora's story. It was a little confusing remembering who was talking between Sophie and Cora, but everything else was super good.

What did I enjoy???

I love love story books, and The Color of Heaven was definitely a love story. I also like the sad tragic type of books, and this had sadness and tragedy like Megan dying of cancer and Sophie's husband cheating on and divorcing her, but it also had a good resolution with everything tying together, and Sophie actually having a good life with closure. I do love the happy endings too and this did have a very happy ending.

Notable facts of the author???

Julianne MacLean turned down a six figure advance from a New York publishing company in order to set up a self-publishing contemporary main stream series.
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