Proof of Heaven

By Mary Curran Hackett
(William Morrow Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780062079985, 336pp.)

Publication Date: November 2011

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover

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A mother’s faith, a child’s courage, a doctor’s dedication—a moving and thought-provoking tale of hope, love, and family

He might be young, but Colm already recognizes the truth: that he’s sick and not getting better. His mother, Cathleen, fiercely believes her faith will protect her ailing son, but Colm is not so sure. With a wisdom far beyond his years, Colm has come to terms with his probable fate, but he does have one special wish. He wants to meet his father who abandoned his beloved mother before Colm was born.

But the quest to find the dying boy’s missing parent soon becomes a powerful journey of emotional discovery—a test of belief and an anxious search for proof of heaven.

A magnificent debut novel, Mary Curran Hackett’s Proof of Heaven is a beautiful and unforgettable exploration of the power of love and the monumental questions of life, death, and the afterlife.

About the Author

Mary Curran Hackett is an adjunct English professor at the University of Cincinnati. She lives with her husband and children in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Conversation Starters from


  1. Proof of Heaven opens with several quotations, one of them by Blaise Pascal: “The Heart has reasons that Reason does not know.” Why do you think the author picked this quotation? What do you think the quotation means? How does this quotation relate to the story, the theme of the book, and each character’s particular journey? Can you relate to these words? Has there ever been a time in your life that you felt your heart and mind wanted different things? Do you find yourself torn between the two? Are you more apt to follow your heart or your mind? 

Praise For Proof of Heaven

“Proof of Heaven belongs on any keeper shelf...beautifully written, mesmerizing and tragic, thought-provoking, and a reaffirmation of faith. The story of a mother’s love for her son was was the tale of one boy’s search for heaven that brought me to tears. I loved this book.”
-Shelley Shepard Gray

“Proof of Heaven is a remarkable first novel that explores the intersections of science and religion, medicine and faith….Reminiscent of Carol Cassella’s recent work, this is an emotionally fulfilling, spiritually inviting, thought-provoking novel.”

“A stirring and remarkable, life-affirming debut…Kudos to Hackett for presenting a real world, gritty yet soaring tale in which humans must make personal choices between hope and hopelessness...And rest assured that once you’ve may well look at life and its inevitable conclusion in a new way.
-New York Journal of Books

“Colm’s journey will move and charm readers who are also searching for answers to their own questions of faith. Hackett’s lovely debut is a good choice for Melody Carlson devotees.”
-Library Journal

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