Blog Book Tour | “Proof of Angels” by Mary Curran Hackett

Posted Friday, 21 November, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 7 Comments

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Proof of Angels by Mary Curran Hackett

Published By: William Morrow (@WmMorrowBks),
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #ProofofAngels

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Proof of Angels” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher William Morrow, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Blog Book Tour | “Proof of Angels” by Mary Curran HackettProof of Angels
by Mary Curran Hackett
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

From the critically acclaimed author of Proof of Heaven comes an unforgettable tale that asks the question “Are there angels among us?”

Sean Magee is a firefighter—a hero who risks his own life to save others, running into dangerous situations few have the courage to dare. While fighting a horrific blaze, Sean becomes trapped by flames and is nearly overcome by smoke. Just when it seems that all is lost, he’s led to a window, by what he swears is divine intervention. And then he jumps . . .

. . . into a new life. For years, Sean has shut down his feelings, existing in a state of emotional numbness. Coming through that fire, he knows he can no longer be that man whose heart is closed to the world. But before he can face his future, he must confront his past and everyone in it: the family, the friends, the woman—and the love—he carelessly left behind.

Read the Author's Note to her Readers : on behalf of 'Proof of Angels'

Places to find the book:

Series: Proof Of,


Published by William Morrow

on 4th November, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 320

About Mary Curran Hackett

Mary Curran Hackett lives with her husband and children in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Photo Credit: Laura Winslow

Find out more about Mary on her website, like her on Facebook, and connect with her on Twitter.

My Review of Proof of Angels:

When I was younger (perhaps a bit too young even), I saw the film Backdraft when I was thirteen years old, and the film was so chokingly gutting of emotion – raw reality of the life of a firefighter, I truly felt bereft with a soul-wrenching anguish I could not quite describe but felt to my very core. Comparatively, the lesser known (and sadly short-lived) Rescue 77 was by far my favourite firefighter and medic tv series, as it combined the reality of the job with the humanity side of living your life outside of the firehouse. I also appreciated the family friendly film Firehouse Dog, but what gave me a chilling sense of Hackett’s personal style of telling a firefighter’s story was etched inside an emotionally charged scene of faith with a seed of hope writ inside the opening pages of Proof of Angels.

We enter into the story directly at a flash point of death centering it’s flickering breath onto a firefighter trapped inside a fire which wants to claim his life; yet Sean Magee has a destiny outside this fire, this hell of flame. We enter the story through his internal thoughts and his near-prayer clarity of understanding bare bone truths in the height of a personal descent into a medical emergency where his calm attitude will ultimately give him a balm of peace to survive. His emotions and his actions have an acute sense of urgency, but Hackett honours the situation and the vehicle of the crisis by writing in a realistic portrait of how fire and man can find themselves in a fight against time.

As Sean emerged out of his injuries and was on the road towards recovery, but only just — he made a phone call to his brother-in-law Gaspar, the one person who thankfully understood him and could accept his insecurities. Sean is a hardened man in a lot of ways, bent against his own shoulders for a life he lived where circumstances had taken the better part of his spirit. Gaspar is a saint of a brother-in-law in many ways, as he was the encourager to set a bridge between a brother whose sister was anguished without hearing of his life; a brother like Sean who walked out one day and refused to knit together any lasting ties outside of the odd phone call. It is only fitting I thought as I read these passages, that the one person Sean can rely on in time of need is Gaspar; the brother-in-law he wasn’t even sure had accepted him.

The most soulful insight threaded throughout this novel are the heartprints – the little moments where our hearts have a way of guiding us through a truth only they can see and hear. Our heart is such a powerful source of knowledge, it is well known and recorded how heart transplant parents start to take on the personality and acquire the life goals of the person who gave them them the heart. Our heart is a vessel of our emotional soul, it grieves and it ignites through our experiences, our sorrows, and gather happiness through our laughter. The heart stores everything we are inside it’s small vessel but it’s reaction to who we are and how we live that curates our ‘heartprints’ — invisible impressions etched into our heart speaking the language of the soul itself.

This is a story where choosing to acknowledge a deeper level of meaning out of your life when an intervention alights on your path is the cosmic way of signaling your course is making an about-face turn. Your heading on a new course, charted by where your heart and soul always knew you were meant to tread but where your mind talked yourself out of your own living truth. Proof of Angels is a testament of one sign of how we’re never quite as alone as we feel nor are we ever quite out of step with the path our lives are meant to take. We simply have to remain open to where the guidance we receive is leading us to travel and to be vigilant in understanding the depth of how one life can change another’s path.

I have observed many angels on earth because at any given point of time, each of us has the capability to be an angel to someone else; an unexpected mirth of goodwill or a shelter from a rising storm of anguish. We’re interconnected but there are times where fear and anxiety can overrun the logic of trusting who cares about you during a time of adversity. The pebbles and rocks which jut into our lives can metaphorically represent the little corkscrew knots of life lessons interceding on our journey to teach us something we have not yet come to understand. So too, can we receive the blessing of a gift disguised as adversity, crisis and trauma. Sometimes you have to stand still in order to move forward.

Writ inside Proof of Angels are eight original key signs (and 11 extraordinary new ones) which have the greatest impact on Sean, but they are a clue to the reader of how to re-see what is already known within their own life. To see past where our sight is limited and to truly see what is stitched around us as we walk, live, and breathe.

On the introspective writing style of Mary Curran Hackett:

I loved the fact as soon as I started to dig inside Proof of Angels, the author did not disappoint me; not even once, where she could have taken the lighter road towards telling Sean’s story, but if she had it would only have led to a half-truth. No, Ms. Hackett knitted into her novel (the sequel to Proof of Heaven) a confluence of how the human condition within all us attempts to process, accept, and forge a new path out of the ashes of what our previous life contained when everything is lost. We have seasons within our lives, where we go through different cyclic motions of changes but there are critical life affirming and life altering seasons where true growth is only obtained by living through a moment of time wherein we live on faith and through faith alone.

Hackett conveys the discovery period of what a mind and heart can resolve as much as how much strength is required to see past the injuries and the flawed remains of where our bodies heal yet require a bit of re-understanding on how to live a well-rounded life. She dives straight into the spirit of where our soul and mind are fused into one; breathing alive a narrative that gives reflective pause and angst out of emotional recovery: a chance to knit inside your own heart and transform your thoughts on a subject you may or may not have considered.

The greatest struggles all humans have is belief without proof – to trust without sight and to walk without a path. Hackett exemplifies this through teaching through her character Sean how everyone can become whole again after tragedy and how time is a bit more forgiving than anyone would ever dare hope possible. She’s a story-teller who I know I will be seeking more stories to read (the first of this series most definitely!) and an author I am blessed to have found whilst hosting her on a blog tour! How blessed indeed!

I personally adore stories such as these which speak directly to your heart, leave you ruminatively pensive, and create such a living well of joy from having read the story, as to uplift you as only a well-crafted story can! I am ever so thankful to have been in the position of receiving such a beautiful bounty of William Morrow stories this year — their P.S. Editions have given me such a pause of thought and head full of imaginative blissitudes, I am dearly full of gratitude for their keen choices of gracing us with incredible authors who pen incredible stories!

Follow the tag “P.S. Edition” or the posts should generate below this review to see where my thoughts alighted on the other lovelies who have alighted in my hands!

A note on the vulgarity in the story:

I did not attach a ‘Fly in the Ointment’ on this novel for vulgarity inclusive to the story, because I do have one ‘free pass’ for vulgarity in literature which is when a character is going through an emotional upheaval and/or a psychological trauma; to where it is only befitting and honest to say the character(s) are not always going to use ‘calming language’ nor are they going to be blessedly delighted by the changes in their life nor the circumstances that upturnt their internal and external lives. Therefore, despite the vulgarity, it is blessedly apt where it appears and not sprinkled on every page, for which I applaud Hackett for her choices and her infrequency. If you’d prefer not to read any vulgar words (which is my general rule of thumb myself!), I would not advise you to pick this one up as it is a colourful novel in this regard.

Notation on Diversity in Lit:

I was so engrossed with this novel from the start to the finish, I had barely had the proper chance to realise Sean’s brother-in-law was Indian! He had this entire life in India before he transitioned stateside and had a second chance at love with Sean’s sister Cathleen. Gaspar is authentic on the level his ethnicity isn’t out of step with who he is nor is his character’s presence one that feels out of step with the story’s heart. I loved Gaspar’s inclusion into the story because he had to learn a few things alongside Sean; both had fractured pasts and emotional angst to recover from but it was how he was written to reflect a doctor’s point of view on the art of healing – not just by spirit and emotion but by physically allowing yourself the grace to heal was a lift of spirits. He was humbled enough to realise he did not understand everything but his character had a growth spurt in transitioning out of a mindset where only his thoughts and/or impressions on a subject were the only ones logical and acceptable.

As an extension of the #K8Chat (read the transcript; or my review of “Softly Falling” where I wrote a bit more about it), Thursday night on Twitter I made the choice to start to remember when I find diverse characters alighting in the stories I am reading where the characters are honestly represented as natural as if they walked off the page and sat down next to you in real life sharing a cuppa java to include a note on my reviews! I can attest, Gaspar feels natural and real to me; he has a special part in the story and I was thankful to make his acquaintance!

(threaded throughout my blog is the tag “Equality in Lit”
my preference for showcasing #diverselit)

(a note on the missing links: will update the transcript & review links as they post)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This blog tour stop was courtesy of TLC Book Tours:
{ click-through to follow the blogosphere tour }

TLC Book Tours | Tour Host

See what I am hosting next by stopping by my Bookish Events page!

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Proof of Angels”, author photograph, author biography, book synopsis and the tour badge were all provided by TLC Book Tours and used with permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

The live reading tweets in regards to “Proof of Angels”:

{ favourite & Re-tweet if inspired to share }

Comments on Twitter:

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie

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Posted Friday, 21 November, 2014 by jorielov in Agnostic (Questioning & Searching or Unsure), Angels, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Equality In Literature, Firefighters & Paramedics, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Life Shift, Literary Fiction, Medical Fiction, Modern Day, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Public Service | Community Officers, Realistic Fiction, TLC Book Tours, Uncategorized, Vulgarity in Literature, Writing Style & Voice




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7 responses to “Blog Book Tour | “Proof of Angels” by Mary Curran Hackett

    • Thanks Heather, for this comment, as I do often wonder if I am the only one who looks for vulgarity to be used appropriately rather than sprinkled throughout a story without rhyme nor reason! You’re quite welcome on the thoughtfulness of the review, but I must confess, the story within this novel left me quite pensive long after I put the book down! So much so, I have decided already to re-read it after I have the proper chance to read Proof of Heaven! I am always thankful to be a part of blog tours like this one, where the story itself is an experience for me and one that I will always cherish having had lived!

    • Hmm, I think we must have two different ways of approaching circumstances and things that happen in life – because this particular story is very kinetically tied to being introspective and soul-searching; digging into your own heart & your soul, to see where you fit and belong in life. There was so much heart and spirit, I felt I had reflected this side of living and sensing as we walk our paths in life to represent what the author wanted us to see & to feel. This wasn’t to take spirituality ‘out’ of our lives, it was merely showing how we grow ‘through’ it instead; and how that is represented through our experiences and how we internalise what happens in our lives.

      As your a regular reader of mine – you know I blog about faith-based fiction & literature all the time; in fact, I’m very open about my spirituality, moreso than I originally felt I might blog about. There is a very direct spiritual connection in this story but I felt if I had focused on that it not only would spoilt it for my readers but it would take the focus off what I felt was truly the greater gift to the novel itself.

      I guess I’m not seeing what your seeing — I re-read this earlier today & again tonight, and all I see is the beauty of what the story gives and how uplifting it is all the way around.

      • Jorie, I do recall what you’ve said before (not in detail), but my recall is faulty, especially when I’m tired. So I get what you’re saying and sorry you spent so much time feeling you had to explain yourself. I also sometimes try to “speed read” through long posts because I’m inundated : / so that doesn’t help on what I do and don’t pick up. It’s why I don’t read fast when I read fiction—I want to read every word and truly understand. It’s now almost midnight and I spent the entire afternoon and evening (of my birthday, no less) playing “catch up” on three days of blog posts, and it wasn’t including the many I deleted. SOMEhow I will find balance. I just don’t know how. I can’t live my life off the computer without coming back to an overflowing inbox every day *sigh*

  1. Jorie, I agree that there are some (few) people who behave like angels on earth, or at least do things that are that giving and “saving,” but I actually believe in the real ones—the spiritual ones, and am especially grateful for their existence :)

    • Hallo Ms Donna Marie,

      I hadn’t meant to imply that I didn’t have an active spiritual life myself nor that I didn’t believe in Angels; however, this particular novel centers around the angels who walk earth and who live amongst us; not in the spiritual sense of the Angels connected to Heaven but rather how we can each intercept a life whilst we are living and become that person’s angel for a particular reason & moment; effectively changing their lives forever and/or giving them something they need that they otherwise might not have found. Like you, I am forever grateful to the Angels who grace our lives and are only a whisper of a breath away when we need them most!

      There is a spiritual connection to this story, but I elected to take my review to a deeper level of where the character was going through an awakening that was given to him through the spiritual connection & through the path his life took him. (which is the best I can say without giving a MAJOR spoiler!)

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