Rated Reads

The Color of Heaven

by Julianne MacLean

Rated: Moderate

Freelance writer Sophie has a nearly perfect life with a handsome, successful husband and a beautiful little girl until tragedy strikes and her whole world bottoms out. After she then experiences a horrible car accident, she decides it’s time to revisit the big question of her life: why did her mother have to leave when she was just 14? And why has her father always been so distant? Sophie finds the answers from a surprising source and learns about herself and her background, allowing her to be able to move on with her life.

This novel turned out to be just the kind I don’t typically like: full of clichés and cheap tear-jerking tropes, with a story whose “twists” were obvious from the start and a very simple ending with all the problems resolved and wrapped up in beautiful little bows. The beginning set up Sophie’s woes in too-swift fashion, making me feel I was reading a Cliff’s Notes version of the book, and made it difficult for me to really feel for her. The story had no subtlety whatsoever and hit readers over the head with its hammer of messages. The result? I won’t be trying any more books by MacLean.

Rated: Moderate, for just a handful of uses of mild and moderate language and a few moderately detailed sex scenes.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for about 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

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  • The Color of Heaven
  • by Julianne MacLean
  • Rated: Moderate
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: