Review of Living in Color

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Hannah Hampton
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Review of Living in Color

Post by Hannah Hampton »

[Following is a volunteer review of "Living in Color" by Mike Murphy.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Living in Color is an extremely touching and heartfelt memoir in which author Mike Murphy shares the precious relationship he cultivated with his late wife Margot. When Margot, a talented saleswoman, visits a car dealership while training a new employee, her highest hopes are landing an advertising deal. Upon entering owner Mike Murphy’s office, however, she gains so much more than she could have prepared for.

After a fatefully electric first meeting in the midst of a mundane work week, Margot and Mike cannot deny the magnetic attraction present whenever they spend time together. This wild and unexpected love sparks a journey of unbridled joy, nearly unbearable anguish, and, ultimately, unconditional love in the face of hardship.

A cancer diagnosis inducts a new chapter into the love story of Margot and Mike. Uncertainty, fear, and pain are suddenly thrust into the center of their relationship. Although Margot’s suffering is extreme, her unwavering joy and contagious optimism inspire Mike, family, friends, and even strangers to seek out the good in the world, even in the face of chronic illness.

Narrator and author Mike Murphy tells this story by piecing together several different moments in time. Despite the time jumps between chapters, I found the timeline incredibly easy to follow. Murphy’s pacing is exquisite, and his masterful use of stitching together older memories with fresher ones lends a unique and effective method of storytelling. Finishing a chapter detailing the whimsical beginnings of Margot and Mike’s romance and turning the page into a waiting room filled with tension and anxiety is so emotionally impactful, and ultimately successful in inviting the audience into the world of Margot and Mike.

Mike’s spirituality is prevalent throughout Living in Color. Although it is only natural for one’s beliefs concerning life, death, and one’s place in the universe when confronted with a terminal illness, it sometimes felt as though spirituality were the main focus of certain chapters, rather than a lens from which Mike is viewing Margot’s journey. There is nothing wrong with spirituality taking prevalence in one’s personal story, of course, but at times I found it a little bit distracting from the main events of the narrative.

This book was masterfully crafted, interweaving sentimentality, resilience, and inspiration into a single cohesive work. There were a few instances of grammatical confusion or small syntax issues, but they were not distracting, which leads me to believe this book was professionally edited. I would rate Living in Color 4 out of 4 stars, and would recommend specifically to anyone in need of inspiration to appreciate the goodness in the world, especially when undergoing misfortune.

Living in Color
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