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I rate Living In Color 4 out of 4 stars.

Mike and Margot met and fell in love in less than desirable circumstances. But somehow, they managed to fight for their love. What they did not know was that in a few months after resolving to be together, they would have to fight for Margot’s life. When Mike discovers a small lump in Margot’s breast, she downplays it. Soon enough, they realize that it is breast cancer. Margot spends the next nine years of her life getting treatment, but she never stops living in color. Even though she was in immense pain, Margot emanated light and wisdom that transcends understanding. Living in Color is one of Mike Murphy’s tributes to his wife, Margot. This book is a real-life story of love, pain, courage, and higher understanding.

One of the things Margot told Mike was, “Continue to be a good man.” And Mike has continued to uphold this character. His search for a higher purpose led him to found the Love From Margot Foundation, which assists low-income women with breast cancer access treatment and good medical care. Additionally, he has created this book, which I believe will be helpful for people suffering from any illness, especially cancer; Margot’s strength and approach of faith and love will help such persons with strength and light.

The primary time setting of Living in Color is 2010 till 2011. The book is made up of three parts. In the first scene, we meet Margot when she is already sick and making a serious decision, but soon the author takes readers back to how they fell in love. This flashback style of writing continues throughout the rest of the book. I loved that the author included a backstory to his relationship with Margot. Also, how the author perfectly merged the past and current timelines left me in awe, as this style of writing can leave readers confused.

I did not agree with the way Mike and Margot’s relationship came about, but as I read on, Margot’s light blew me away and evaporated any judgment I had. I loved so much that the author’s main messages were love, kindness, strength, and a
higher understanding. The author arranged the book with dates, writing in the first person, and some dialogue. I found the writing style to be perfect. I found that the dates allowed me to keep track of the many events without things seeming disorganized, and the dialogue was not overdone. The author also managed to make me laugh several times despite the bleak occurrences.

The author is an excellent record keeper; he included pictures, emails, writings from Margot, and even blog posts. All of this made my reading experience so much more intimate. I began to feel like I was Margot’s friend. There were certain things Margot said that I had to highlight because they resonated with me. When she said that she was living beyond fear, it was like a revelation to me. I did not dislike anything about the book. So I rate Living in Color 4 out of 4 stars. This book will be a great read for romance readers. If you have experienced loss or are looking for a deeper understanding of life, you should read this book. You may not agree with everything the author believes, but there is wisdom that comes from staring death in the face many years at a time, and Mike Murphy captured some of that in this book.

A story about a remarkable woman who faced the toughest of battles with grace, faith, and a smile.

A love story like no other, and one in which the love keeps coming long after his wife’s passing.

Only nine months into his unexpected love affair with, Margot, Murphy discovers a lump in her breast. For the next nine years she fights her cancer, armed with a fierce love for life. With him by her side through the good, the bad, and the worst, Margot shows her husband how to truly live.

Married to other people at the time, the Murphys’ relationship was sparked by a soul-deep sense of recognition when they first met. This powerful sense of knowing buoyed them as they faced the challenges required for them to be together and uplifted them as Margot faced one medical crisis after another.

Murphy tells the story of their relationship and Margot’s fight for her life with engaging warmth, honesty and unflinching detail. By doing so, he shows how a relationship can grow past the obstacles in its path thanks to love and the willingness to work toward emotional maturity. “I’m different because Margot, in life and in death, taught me the true meaning of love, which is compassion and forgiveness. I am a much better man,” he says.

This is not your typical Boy Meets Girl story, though that is part of it – so much so that the first couple of chapters read more like a romance novel than anything. This true story is about love, yes, but also about faith and spirituality and letting go. It is about a young woman with such strength and grace, fighting a battle no one should ever have to fight. It is about a man who not only stood by her side every step of the way, but later started a foundation to help low-income women with the financial expenses of fighting their own battles with cancer.

We all know at least one person who has had cancer, but we tend not to think about what that really means for them. We don’t want to think about it. We hear the words “cancer” and “radiation” and “chemotherapy,” but we rarely stop to think what that really entails. How it feels. What it looks like. Mike Murphy tells this story in real time, openly, honestly, and in such detail that we see it all, and it is the most horrifying yet uplifting thing I’ve ever read.

Aside from the deep emotions poured into the words themselves, there are pictures. You see Margot as she was when they met, walking her dog, at their wedding. And, in great contrast, we see pictures of her during the chemo, after the brain surgery, lying in a hospital bed with more wires hooked up to her than I can count. You see the X-Ray of her lungs, half filled with fluid as she struggles to breathe. You see the bottles filled with that yellow fluid, drained from her lungs. And though the cancer and the treatments changed her physically, the one thing that never changed was her smile. I look at the pictures of this vibrant young woman (only thirty-seven), bald from chemotherapy, a port inserted into her brain, at times too weak to walk, having endured symptoms and procedures that go beyond any pain I can imagine, and I see her smiling in all of them.

Margot chose to live through all of it without fear, believing that we are more than our bodies, that her body was just the place that housed her spirit, and while her body may have been damaged and broken (not only by breast cancer, but then bone cancer, and lung cancer, and brain cancer. . .), her spirit was not. How does one smile through that? Well, in the words of this remarkably brave young lady, “You bend to the universe; it never bends to you.”

I believe this is a book that anyone with a loved one fighting cancer should read – if they want to truly understand what it is they’re going through. Told with such empathy and understanding, filled with takeaways and philosophical ideals about life and death and love, this is a book that will, once read, stay with you forever. 

Shannon Hovey

Shannon Hovey

Shannon has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Acadia University. In 2013 she published a psychological horror novella titled Since September (available on Amazon). She is currently working on a novel. Sign up for her monthly newsletter, Macabre Musings, at

A grief-stricken husband attempts to come to terms with the death of his wife in this debut memoir.

Michael Murphy enjoyed an idyllic life in a mansion with his wife and four kids. Then one day, a stunning married woman named Margot walked into the car dealership where he worked, and his life changed. Margot would teach Murphy “what it meant to love more deeply than I ever knew was possible.” Though he was married at the time, he couldn’t help but be drawn to Margot. The two decided to separate from their spouses to be together. They eventually wed, but tragedy struck when Margot was diagnosed with cancer. Murphy navigated hospitals and chemotherapy while trying to enjoy the time he had left with his wife. He believed in spiritual healing, and often imagined “neutralizing [cancer cells] with unconditional love.” He was determined to try anything that would ensure his wife’s continued survival. Throughout the book, he maintains that “love is the most powerful force in the Universe.” This sweet proclamation is far from sappy knowing the challenging situation that Murphy and his family found themselves in.

In fact, reading about his ability to support his wife and stay positive for the family is incredibly affecting. Margot herself is a fully realized character in the narrative. Murphy recalls texts she wrote assuring her family that she was “not scared” and that “suffering at times brings you closer to God.” This work will probably help readers who have lost spouses deal with feelings of sorrow and helplessness, as well as those who have suffered from cancer or know someone who has. But it is also a well-written, touching tale of a family’s struggle to grapple with tragic circumstances. Ultimately, this is an uplifting read that includes well-developed characters and a carefully constructed narrative that manages to snag readers not just with the details of Margot’s battle with cancer, but with the story of how she and Murphy fell in love.

A moving account that should help families affected by cancer cope with despair.

Cynics might assume Living in Color: A Love Story. In Sickness and In Health is yet another sentimental memorial to a deceased loved-one. But Michael Murphy’s story is much more than that: His account of his beloved second-wife Margot’s snuggle with cancer is a love story. a primer on accepting life, whatever it brings. and a practical guide for caregivers. as he was for Margot.

In 2000, Murphy 43, was living in the Bay Area, running successful car dealerships and married to      his high-school sweetheart, then he met Margot, decades younger, and also married. Margot and Michael didn’t mean to fall in love. But they did. Murphy skillfully takes readers through their first years together. including their wrenching guilt over their spouses. The title is something Margot often said: Until she met Michael, she was living in black and white.

They did live in color. even while Margot endured nine years of cancer that spread throughout her body and finally took her life. Murphy doesn’t spare readers the details, but there’s no self-pity from either Margot or Michael, even during terrible times of doubt and fear. Just as readers feel overwhelmed with sorrow, Murphy jump cuts back to their lives before cancer. talking about his four children and the new couple’s growing love. Readers find themselves holding their breath to see if she’ll make it through setback after setback.

Besides the cancer, their story includes raising a wild teen from Michael’s first marriage. trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant, and some less-than-helpful doctors. Throughout, Margot’s thoughts on fear, dying. life and faith are deeply moving, invaluable for anyone facing the issues of life and death.

For those afraid to read sad stories, there’s a happy ending. After Margot’s death. Michael found a new purpose in life: He founded Love from Margot Foundation to fund low-income cancer patients. Ifs his way of keeping her alive. ”her love flowing freely through me to serve these women in need. “

This is an Uplifting testimonial about love, family, and the human condition.

Michael Murphy’s Living in Color is a memoir and an unusual love story chronicling his wife’s nearly ten-year­ long struggle with cancer. Their beautiful journey is related with painful, stark honesty.

When Michael and Margot first meet, there are obstacles. He’s forty-three and of hard-drinking Irish descent; she’s twenty-seven and Peruvian; both are married to others. Yet they are irresistibly drawn to one another and describe their lives before meeting each other as “colorless.” Murphy successfully conveys this mutual attraction and eventual soul-mate connection in unapologetic terms.

Their initial happiness is fleeting, however, because Margot soon discovers that she has breast cancer. So begins a years-long roller coaster of diagnoses, doctors, and determination as the cancer evolves into a much worse prognosis. At one point, Margot is given less than six months to live; this is the jumping off point for the story. over the years, Michael is forced into the role of caregiver-a job that he does not want, of course, but one at which he excels: “I’d once told her I would die for her. It turned out that the much greater task was for her to live for me.”

The authentic prose features flashbacks that are seamlessly interwoven with present events. Murphy describes, in depth, the numerous treatments and procedures that Margot had to endure. He praises her determination as she fought for more time with loved ones. He accumulates knowledge alongside medical personnel, and acts as his wife’s advocate and ally. With a mixture of hones ty, pathos, dark humor, emotionality, and detailed medical information that is interspersed with dramatic scenes, the book is powerful despite its inevitable conclusion.

Meticulous descriptions honor Margot’s life, which shines through in the text. She becomes a beacon for Michael even after her death, and he expresses gratitude that they were able to afford her treatments. He is inspired to better himself as a result, and founds the Love from Margot Foundation, which provides support to low-income cancer patients.

Nearly sixty photographs depict the couple’s life together, and include shots of Margot’s family, Michael’s four children, trips together, and time fighting Margot’s illness. The photos serve as very personal glimpses into their lives and tribulations, humanizing them and their battle. These images corroborate the personal story unfolding, allowing outsiders to bear witness to private interludes.

Though Margot and Michael’s relationship is shown to change, so, too, is there an evident and even deeper connection formed between them because of the difficult journey they traveled together. Living in Color is an uplifting testimonial about love, family, and the human condition.

Foreword Reviews

Mike, I don’t think I’ve ever read a more beautiful love story.  It is amazing to me that I know your story and yet I couldn’t stop reading. It’s absolutely beautiful and it reads perfectly. I know it’s going to touch the lives of millions of people.

As for the title, I like Living in Color, but I gave you a couple of other possible titles only because there were a few things that jumped out at me in the book while I was reading it. I’m sure whatever title you choose, it will have a tremendous impact on the world.  I don’t think anyone has ever told such a difficult story with so much beauty and love.

I wish you all the best.


Different authors have different tactics and elements when writing their books, all of which work up to build on the goal of their book. Some authors aim to educate their readers, thus settling on finding accurate information, while others aim at pleasing their readers, thereby focusing on fiction, romance, and scary novels. Regardless, the author’s main aim is to create content worth their reader’s time, making them fall in love with their book. Living in Color: A Love Story, in Sickness, and Health is a book written by Mike Murphy, a book that focuses on the life of a woman as she battles a deadly disease in the twilight years of her young life. In the book, Mike focuses on telling the story of a cancer patient and the hardships and pain that follow the family of cancer patients. The book is a riveting account that showcases love, hope, pain, and the despair of fighting a losing battle and coming to terms with a complicated new reality. 

True to its title, this is a love story, telling the exciting and short-lived relationship between Mike and his wife. Mike does not shy away from telling the reader his love story with Margot, how they met and how their love can be viewed as an accident, a mistake since he was still married. Mike takes the reader on a journey explaining in detail everything he loved about Margot and how he felt somehow guilty about his first marriage. With his words, he manages to show the reader the extreme extent and amount of love he had for Margot, an aspect which makes it easier for the reader not to look at their love as the cause of his divorce, and the same for Margot. Mike must be commended for excellently describing a love so pure that the reader can be forgiven for not feeling any empathy for their former spouses. 

While the book is a love story, it also touches on pain of sickness, especially long-term illnesses. The story centers around Margot, and Mike shares with the audience the numerous hardships that Margot faces individually and the heavy toll the cancer treatment has on both of them and their families. With his words, Michael explicitly shows the reader the pain and despair that the patients feel when they receive the news, the jading effects of the treatments, and the pain of seeing a loved one fading away. 

While telling the story of Margot, the readers are left holding their breath, waiting to see if she would be able to overcome setback after setback. Aside from the disease, their narrative involves parenting a wild adolescent from Michael’s first marriage, attempting but failing to conceive, and dealing with some unhelpful physicians. Margot’s reflections on fear, death, life, and religion are highly emotional throughout the book and will benefit anybody dealing with life’s challenges. The book is a riveting experience for both the audience and probably Mike as he aimed to create a masterpiece. His hand is seen all over the story and is rightfully credited for how he tells their story. 

From a personal perspective, I loved the book. This story offers hope to cancer patients and their families, showing that even though cancer does not get treated, it does not win. There is a happy ending for people who are terrified of tragic stories. After Margot died, Michael found a new purpose: he founded the Love from Margot Foundation to help low-income cancer patients. “Her love is flowing freely through me to serve these women in need,” he says, as a way of keeping her alive. This book is an exceptional piece of art and one in which the author should receive acclaim and recognition in the way the story is told. 


Sadly, I think many of us know the pain of loss and the terrible struggle with grief that follows.  In Living in Color, author Mike Murphy guides the reader through his love story with wife Margo and her ongoing battle with cancer, and I’ll warn you now – if there ever was a book that should come with a warning to keep some tissues close by while reading, then it would be this one. Extremely poignant and sure to move you to tears in places, this is a beautiful look into love and loss, and the most wonderful and moving tribute to Margot.

Mike guides the reader through Margo’s battle with cancer, from her initial diagnosis and her 9-year battle to the end. We follow it all, and with every page my love and respect for Mike and Margot grew. At times this felt very much like reading a diary, cataloguing moments in their relationship, and their love is very much at the heart of it all. The inclusion of photographs throughout was a lovely touch, and again truly drove home now personal this book is. For Mike to share his experience of such a difficult time in Living in Color, to relive it as you put it down on paper for others to read, must be incredibly challenging, and so I must acknowledge his strength here for in sharing his pain he is, I’m sure, doing much to help that of others.

Extremely emotional and difficult to read at times, Living in Color is a beautiful tale of love and resilience that is definitely worth the tears. Through his pain and heartbreak Mike Murphy has created an incredible testament to his wife, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Beautiful.

A Story Book

Mike Murphy’s novel, Living in Color: A Story of Love in Sickness and in Health, is a powerful and emotional true story of his wife’s fight against cancer. I cannot express adequately in words all of the emotions I felt reading this book. It is a raw and unflinching account of a husband who truly loved his wife dearly. Through this book, we get to know Margot as the person she was kind, honest, full of life, loved by her family and friends, and most of all: a fighter. Murphy is not afraid to lay bare the truth of how they first met and their emotional pain when they each decide to divorce their spouses to be together. When she is diagnosed with breast cancer, it is the beginning of Margot’s 9-year cancer battle.

The author uses Margot’s own words to describe her realization that her time in the physical world is drawing to an end. When we read, “My waves of life have started to reach my life’s shores”, we see Margot coming to terms with her past and making peace with her life’s choices. Murphy uses clear and straightforward language to articulate his deep love for his wife. It is a book written from the heart that stays with you long after you finish it. We have a husband and wife who share a solid and unshakeable bond that spans lifetimes. The author includes photographs of his late wife in the book that shows her full of life even when she is struggling with the side effects of chemotherapy.

The prose resonated with me, and you feel his hurt and pain when he describes his wife’s health decline resulting from her cancer treatments. Though his simple prose may slow down the book’s pacing at times, it does not detract from the emotional honesty of his words. His message is simple: do not take your loved ones for granted, learn to love life and enjoy the time you have with your loved ones. The reader will feel each emotion that he experiences before and after Margot’s illness. His reaction to her when they first meet, joy when they marry, and his fight to give her a chance to beat this illness.

Murphy finishes the book with words of hope and purpose. He writes that he is a changed man through this experience: full of gratitude, compassion, and forgiveness. Through his heartbreak, Murphy has written an incredible testament to his wife, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.


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