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Proof of Heaven: A Novel
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Proof of Heaven: A Novel

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  757 Ratings  ·  153 Reviews
Proof of Heaven belongs on any keeper shelf. It’s beautifully written, mesmerizing and tragic, thought-provoking, and a reaffirmation of faith….I loved this book.”
—Shelley Shepard Gray

Proof of Heaven by Mary Curran Hackett is an astonishing debut—a moving, inspiring, and wise first novel that explores beautifully the meaning of family, faith, and love. The story of a moth
ebook, 336 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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(showing 1-30)
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Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-reads
Apparently some people feel as if I gave away some of the book, so don't read this review unless you want to know so of what happens, although if anyone reads the few first pages you will figure it out for yourself.

I really enjoyed this book, but the last few chapters had me not wanting to pick it up. It just bored me. I already knew Colm didn't believe in God, and I know Cathleen is searching for anything to save her son. I knew Dr Basu is going to fall in love with Cathleen --

I really loved le
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
"Faith is the recognition of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen." - Hebrews 11:1

Colm Francis Magee had died seven times before his seventh birthday. Cardiac arrest. Not to be mistaken for a heart attack in which clogged arteries prevent blood from reaching the heart and then the muscle withers. There was nothing wrong with Colm's strength of heart. No, Colm Francis Magee's heart simply and inexplicably stopped beating at the most inopportune moments.

And that is the beginning of Ma
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: r-lt
Review first published on my blog:

Proof of Heaven is a book about a mother and a child and the lengths any parent would go to save a sick child. It is also a book about beliefs - as the title suggests - about god and what happens after death. Cathleen is a young single mother trying to care for Colm, her very young but very sick child. Due to his illness, Colm has "died" many times in his life and then returned.

The book touches on different points of view
Kieran Walsh
Jan 22, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to justify this by saying this book was a Christmas Gift and I felt a certain obligation to read it as the friend who gave it to me is a relative of the author. Coupled with this fact I have zero to nil connections with any writer so there's a certain smugness in mentally noting along the lines of- 'oh, I guess It behooves me dig in here as I've a passing connection with this writer', like as if my perusal/review drives the NYT book review meeting its deadline this Sunday.
The tragedy
Sara Strand
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will tell you right now that as a parent of two children this book hit home. Not because I have an ill child or have ever had to experience making decisions all the while knowing that your child is still going to die you just have to make him comfortable on that journey, but because I know what it is like to love a child so fiercely that you would do anything to make it all better. Nobody can ever understand what it's like to love a child like a mother can- between carrying that child and know ...more
Religious undertones and metaphors abound in this tale of a terminally ill young boy who is searching for his father (are we all searching for OUR FATHER?). The biblical aspects of the story are evident in the representation of each character. Cathleen, the mother represents Mary, her brother Sean is a composite of Joseph (the foster-father) and John (a disciple), Dr. Gaspar Basu embodies the characteristics of the Magi bringing the gifts of wisdom, love and protection to the young Colm (Jesus?) ...more
Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
The beginning of this book seemed so promising of it being a unique and interesting story! A young boy collapses and his heart stops beating. He seems to be dead....but then he is revived and seems back to normal. This happens several times, baffling the doctors and immensely worrying his single mom. Then comes chapter after chapter of the mom and her brother arguing and fighting, the boy doubting that God and Heaven are real, the doctor getting personally involved in this patient's life.....and ...more
Nov 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, read this in one sitting and loved it. I couldn't believe the author wrote it in two weeks! but in the afterword you find out that she and her loved ones share a lot of similarities with the characters so maybe that's why she was able to write it so quickly. It was an amazing story that kept me thinking long after I finished it. I did think the boy was inordinately mature for his age (five through seven in the story). Some of the things he said seemed a bit unrealistic to me but didn't detr ...more
Henry Jones
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read... A touching story with a surprising ending.
Stephen G.
Jun 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Story with great characters. Tackles some of the "big" questions in a unique way. Couldn't put it down!
Lydia Presley
Original review posted here

I’m not even joking – I devoured this book in three hours. I could not put it down. Out of tea? Oh well. Cold and need to move to the bed to get under electric blanket? Nope. Don’t wanna stop reading.

Yet this book was so filled with such emotionally corny scenes I’m a bit ashamed of myself.

This goes back to that idea of entertainment. Was Proof of Heaven a challenging, literary read that had me pausing to collect my thoughts and ponder over the wonders contained in tho
Stacey Taylor
Sep 16, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
**SPOILER ALERT** This book really let me down. I had high expectations of it and thought that perhaps there would be some meaning behind the title but unfortunately there's not. A little boy is slowly dying and his strong willed, religious mother is doing everything she can do prevent the inevitable. What's so frustrating is that the boy has an obvious lack of faith in the prospect of life after death yet his mother is portrayed to be some crazy catholic who over prays and forces her religious ...more
Nov 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a sensitive and honest presentation of one of life's biggest philisophical questions. As a bereaved parent I was forced to read it slowly as I could only take in so much at a sitting. But I am the richer for having read every word. At the same time the book is not without it's flaws. A few (very few) times it seemed I was reading a passage that was an unnecessary side bar, a tangent that was added after the book was written, perhaps to appease the more traditional reader. That aside, t ...more
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Cathleen, abandoned by her boyfriend upon learning she was pregnant, is raising her young son, Colm, as a single mother. Colm suffers from a rare and fatal heart condition. Cathleen, raised in a strict Irish Catholic family clings to the hope that through prayer, Colm may be healed by a miracle. Sean, her older brother, is skeptical, having lost his faith following 9/11. Colm does not believe in God, but attends mass with his mother to offer her solace and a chance for hope. When Cathleen brings ...more
The description of the book was very misleading - there was hardly any "search" for a proof of heaven. The premise of the book, a child with an unheard of disease, and keeps dying over and over, was a bit hard to swallow. Then, the trip to search for a miracle cure in Assisi was not well developed, almost senseless, and left me wanting more. Next, the author completely switched gears and the boy went looking for his real dad, and the whole entourage of people are able to travel cross country wit ...more
Jan 29, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
I blame Books-a-Million for my subjection to this fatuous rubbish; they (for reasons both unknown an inexplicable) distinguished "Heaven" as their January book club selection, and I capitulated. Broadly, the novel is both mawkish and hackneyed, and the plot devolves into utter absurdity thanks to the disjointed pilgrimage to Assisi and the equally expedient cross-country tour intended to emblematize a quest for spiritual reconciliation and salvation. Also in contention are copious, ham-handed Bi ...more
Kathleen Smith
I am half way through and I have to say this book started off with so much promise and then it just ran out of gas. The conversations were not real, the story became contrite and not believable. Colm was saying things that a 40 year old would say. It is almost as if two separate people wrote it. I need a good book..
I am finished. I think in reviewing a book that has such religious content is a slippery slop, that I do not want to slid down. No matter what I say I will offend. I do not want to d
Amy Schisler
Sep 13, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I just kept waiting for...something more. I couldn't stand any of the characters. Cathleen used her religion (and I'm a VERY devout Catholic myself) to hide from the world but had really no faith in it at all. Sean ended up having no redeeming qualities even though I kept thinking he would come to his senses. Dr. Basu was an annoying, egotistical jerk who didn't love Cathleen at all, he just loved the idea of having another chance at having a son. And Colm was a spoiled rotten brat. I know this
Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found myself profoundly touched by this book...I definitely shed a few tears! I've never read a book like this -- I would call it a spiritual novel. I thought it was a beautiful story, and incredible that so much of the author was in it, too. I think it's a must-read for any parent, but also anyone who has questioned their faith at some point in their lives.
this book sounds amazing and i can't wait to read it. i'm curious to see how this book will affect me. the storyline sounds great, but i hope it doesn't end up being too overly emotional or anything. i'm also curious to see how faith and religion will play in this book. i don't normally read books with religious overtones but this one sounded too good to pass up.
Oct 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yep, read it in one day! So happy for my friend, Mary. This book is a heartwarming story and a moving read for all the mothers and fathers out there. Colm Francis Magee reminded me how truly amazing our children are!
Morgan Juel Russell
This book is truly amazing! It is heartbreaking, and emotional. It shows a mothers never ending hope and love. and the strength and courage of one sick little boy on a journey to have just one dream come true.... to find his father whom abandoned him. beautifully written and heart felt.
Oct 24, 2011 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Won in First Reads giveaway! Full review coming soon =]
Sentimental, of course, but I read the whole thing.
Great Story!
Mark Mccarragher
Oct 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Was a goodreads winner of this book. I really enjoyed it. Was very touching and inspirational.
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
As children, we often go through a time where we question what happens when we die. Is there truly a heaven, or do we simply fade away? This is just one hurdle that the characters of Proof of Heaven try to clamber over. It’s boring, I know. It’s a question for adults who wear bow ties, and who are in possession of a PH. D to discuss. However, Mary Curran Hackett, the author of Proof of Heaven, makes this question, among others, touchable for teenagers who are struggling to maintain even a 90 ave ...more
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Proof of Heaven by Mary Curran Hackett. This book was a more of very nice love story. At the end it really left you still wondering if there is a Heaven. But if you really believe and have faith in God you really don't need a proof of Heaven that's where faith comes into your life.
Nov 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(a similar version of this review can be found here at Into the Hall of Books:

Proof of Heaven is an emotional roller coaster for readers, in particular (I assume) those with children who are terminally ill or are going through sick processes. I found this to be a particularly emotional book because the story's protagonist, Cathleen, struggles to come to terms with her faith and whether or not heaven is real--all while being the sole caregiver to her youn
Oct 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-books-read
Colm (pronounced Colum) has died seven times in his seven years of life. Cathleen Magee (his mom) has experienced this and has been put through a lot of heartache. Cate is a single mother trying to raise Colm alone, although she has her brother, Sean, to be the father-figure in Colm's life.

Cate is trying to hold her career down along with trying to find the reasons behind Colm's medical condition. Cate was brought up very Catholic and she and Colm and Sean attend church every Sunday.

Cate seems t
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Mary Curran Hackett is the mother of two children and is married to Greg Hackett. She received an MA in English Literature from the University of Nebraska and a BA from the University Honors Program at Catholic University in Washington, DC. Born and raised in Danbury, CT, she has traveled extensively and lived in various places throughout the U.S., but her favorite place in the world is home with ...more
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